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The Salting-Out Effect: A Colorful Demonstration That Leads to Student - Teacher Activities

Have you seen the "salting-out effect"? This interesting demonstration shows a separation of two layers in a solution of water and an organic solvent by adding an ionic salt. Although this concept has important applications in organic chemistry and biochemistry, it can also be visually stunning and engaging for audiences. Read on to learn how to incorporate this demonstration into your chemistry lessons.

Algae Connections to Chemistry Classrooms

This timely post is a perfect fit for the theme of Chemists Celebrate Earth Week 2023! Algae is a rich topic with many possible connections to the chemistry classroom. Algae needs to take in light, carbon dioxide, and various simple nutrients and, though it can sometimes get out of control, can produce oxygen, diatomaceous earth, and other products. It can even fluoresce pink! 

Laser-Cutting CDs into Snowflakes

Laser cutters can be used to cut and engrave a variety of thin materials. Compact discs, composed of layers of polycarbonate plastic and aluminum metal, were explored for their ability to be shaped with a laser cutter. The laser can successfully cut and engrave the compact discs into the shape of snowflake. However, each disc must first be coated with a material like glue in order to protect the plastic from discoloration and the byproducts from cutting the plastic that can accumulate on the disc surface.