Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Kimberly Scott Science is on Instagram


I was one of those people who resisted getting a smart phone.  I have used my flip phone for years.  It was reliable and did what I wanted it to do.  Recently my phone features went out of date.  I knew it was time to update.  I learned more about Instagram and that sealed the deal.  Now I can take and post pictures more easily of my classes performing experiments.  I can also take more videos.  I love the slow motion video feature.  I also love the ability to make movies right from my phone.  I am slow at texting, but I will get there.  I still love my computer.  Typing on a keyboard is so much faster.  My goal is to inspire lifelong learners through a memorable experience.  I think expanding to Instagram and even Twitter will help.

To celebrate I am giving a way a $10.00 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card.  To enter you must visit my Instagram account.  While there consider following me to get great hands on science inspiration.

Did I mention there is also a site-wide sale going on.  Click the image to head on over for great deals.


I even made some slow motion videos with my new phone and turned it into a video preview on my store.  Such a nice feature for TeachersPayTeachers.com to add.  I took the video on my phone and then used Movie Maker and Movie Moments to finish it up.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Reaction in a Bag

My students just loved this activity.  Okay, I did too.  I made a few modifications.  I will have to write that up more formally another time.  Here are the highlights.


I found this activity on a science forum.  The teachers were all talking about how much they loved it.  It is a great way to show students the informal part of the scientific method.  The scientific method isn't always done in the same way.  It is still systematic and precision is important, but sometimes it is not in a formal way by starting with a hypothesis.

The premise is to teach the kids how to discover what substances cause what parts of the reaction.  They first see the complete reaction with all 4 substances.  This will produce heat, foaming, gas production, and a color change.  Then they combine two substances at a time to see what they do together to discover their role in the reaction.  Such a great way to teach about chemical reactions.  All of this is done in a zip lock bag, so clean up is easy.  Performing the reaction in a bag allows them to see the gas production and feel the temperature change.  Some combination will do nothing.  Others will be exothermic or endothermic reactions.  Some will even produce a color change.

Here is the link for the specific directions and worksheets.  It does a fabulous job explaining the science that I won't repeat it here.


Changes to the experiment.

I made same changes to make it more cost effective and use materials I already had.

Calcium Chloride:  I bought Damp Rid at my local superstore.  I use the unscented, which is pure calcium chloride.

Phenyl Red:  I did not have phenyl red, nor the budget to order some.  I decided to use red cabbage juice.  I had a red cabbage in my freezer from a previous experiment.  I boiled it in water until the color was mostly out of the cabbage and in the water.

Red cabbage produced a different change than the phenyl red.  Both are indicators, but produce different color changes.  Red cabbage is an acid/base indicator.  In the reaction with all 4 ingredients it produced a purple color.  Most likely because the substance were neutralizing.  In the presence of a base it will turn more green.  In the presence of an acid it will turn more pink.

When students began testing two items together they quickly noticed that sodium bicarbonate and red cabbage juice turned green.  Sodium bicarbonate is a base.  This really interested them because it did not happen when all 4 substances were mixed.  They were also surprised because the liquid gets cool.  When all 4 are mixed the students feel the heat from calcium chloride and water reacting.

 When the students mixed calcium chloride with red cabbage juice they discovered it turned a bluish/green color.  It did not seem to be quite as strong of a base as the baking soda, but it was close.  In this reaction a lot of heat was produced.  This just makes it even more exciting for students.  They immediately noticed more heat is produced than when all 4 substances were combined.  That is most likely because of the sodium bicarbonate and water losing temperature.

If you have a group of 5th-8th graders I strongly recommend this activity.  It is memorable and really applies higher order thinking skills.  Click the link above for the detailed directions.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale on TeachersPayTeachers.com

Cyber Monday Sale is here.  Time to stock up on all those resources in your wish list.  All science resources in my store are 20% off.  Use promo code CYBER17 to save up to 25%.

A sale wouldn't be complete without a thank you to all my customers and future customers.  Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10.00 TpT gift card.  I hope you will learn more about my science resources and teaching style by entering the rafflecopter.  I truly love what I do.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is my latest product.  Creating Crystals is so much fun with students.  This investigation will give results the next day.  Great for teaching about supersaturated solutions.  I used it to help my students with the You be the Chemist Challenge.






Monday, November 6, 2017

Diet Coke and Mentos Exploration

Have you tried Diet Coke and Mentos?  This activity is so much fun at any age.  Students just have a blast.  

Why I love Diet Coke and Mentos?

1.  It is exciting.
2.  It takes simple supplies and creates a great scientific experience.
3.  It is great for teaching about the properties of matter.  Especially Gases.
4.  There is so much science happening.

This activity is so easy.  The bottle is opened and 5 to 10 Mentos are quickly dropped into the bottle.  Almost immediately a huge geyser of soda erupts.  If lucky it can be over 10 feet high. 

This is not a chemical reaction, but a physical  reaction.  Mentos candy contains lots of tiny bumps or nucleation sites.  It is also the correct size and weight to cause the carbon dioxide gas to immediately come out of solution.  The carbon dioxide grabs onto the nucleation sites on the Mentos and the bubbles get bigger and bigger.  These large bubbles force there way out of the bottle with the liquid coming for the ride. 

I really like digging into the science of Diet Coke and Mentos.  Helping students to understand the science behind it is so much fun.   Because it is a physical reaction you don't need to use Mentos.  Other objects and candy can be tested.  It is all in the nucleation sites.  So head to your dollar store for a wide selection of candy to help get started.

This workbook is great.  It will take you step by step through learning about the science behind geysers.  A great addition for the hands-on science class, STEM Club, scout group, and summer camp.  Click to download today.


Monday, October 16, 2017

13 Days of Halloween: My Favorite Things

Thank you for participating in the 13 Days of Halloween.  In celebration of Halloween I am having a SALE.  20% off everything in my store.  Check out the deals.

Create a Glow in the Dark Skeleton


Make Colorful Fire

Create a Headless Horseman Costume

Glow Stick Fun

Have a Harry Potter Party

13 Days of Halloween: Naked Eggs

Day 12:  Naked Eggs
This is a classic experiment.  I posted it several years ago and felt I should highlight it again.  Perhaps you have done it before.  It is great for Halloween and Easter.  Anything slimy for Halloween is fantastic.  Always keep you hands away from your face when working with raw eggs.   

Naked Egg

Raw Egg

1. Carefully place the whole egg in the jar.

2. Pour enough vinegar into the jar that it completely covers the egg.

3. Let the jar sit for 24 hours. (Do not seal the jar with a lid)  You can put it in the refrigerator.

4. Carefully drain the vinegar. Add fresh vinegar and let sit for 1-7 days until the

shell is gone.  I find it doesn't take the full 7 days. ( 3 or 4 )

5. Take out the egg. The egg will be very soft. Rinse off any egg shell that is left.

6. You now have the membrane and the raw egg inside. Can you see the yolk?

What is Happening?
The vinegar is acetic acid.  The egg shell is made of calcium carbonate. The vinegar breaks down the calcium carbonate. Did you see bubbles in the jar?  The vinegar does not react with the eggs membrane.  You are able to see into the egg.  The egg will swell because the membrane is semi-permeable.  That means vinegar is inside the egg.  This reaction is similar to what too much sugar can do to the coating on your teeth. Try with a hard boiled egg or with different types of vinegars.
I loved this video I found on Imagination Station.  I have done the naked egg for years.  I have done it several ways, but I love how he takes it up a notch.  It is a great watch.  I will have to try some of these.

If you have done anything with eggs please leave a comment below.  Eggs are so amazing. 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Permanent Marker Chromatography

Color Chromatography

What is Chromatography?

Chromatography basically means “to write with colors.”  It is the process of separating a mixture by passing it through a medium in which the different components of the mixture move at different rates.  Russian botanist M.S. Tsewtt discovered paper chromatography in 1903.  He was able to separate the pigments in plants.  Paper chromatography is now used to determine the purity and make up of many compounds.  In paper chromatography the mixture is dissolved in a liquid and the medium it will travel through is the filter paper.  How well the pigments separate is dependent on how well they travel up the paper and how soluble they are in the solvent.   

Permanent Marker Chromatography

You are probably thinking you can’t separate permanent markers.  They are permanent.  With the right medium you can separate the pigments in permanent markers.  It is fun to see what colors the manufactures used to make the many different colors.  Students will enjoy this fun chemistry experiment.

Safety Precautions

The following activity uses nail polish remover which contains acetone.  It has a high odor.  It should be used in a well ventilated area.  In the classroom this can be done as a demonstration in the front of the room.  It could also be done on a nice day outside.  Students could set them up on picnic tables.  Just make sure it is not windy.  Good lab practices should be followed.  Follow your school districts rules and keep material safety data sheets on file.

Blue had slight other shades, but was mostly blue pigments.

Since yellow is a primary color it did not separate into other pigments.

Black always has lots of color separation.  Black is a combination of all the primary colors.  Look closely and you will see different shades of red, blues, and yellows. 


Permanent Marker in a variety of Colors
Coffee Filter Paper
Nail Polish Remover
Small Shallow tray (Pie pans or smaller work well.)
Paper Towels
Safety Goggles


1.    Draw a circle around the edge of a coffee filter with a permanent marker.

2.   Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again to form a tee pee.

3.   Pour a small amount of water into the dish.

4.   Place the coffee filter in the tray so it stands upright.

5.   Observe as the water travels up the coffee filter, but does not separate the colors. 

6.   Discuss with the class why the color did not separate.  (Permanent makers do not dissolve in water.) 

7.   Empty the tray and get a new coffee filter.

8.   Draw a circle around the new coffee filter with a permanent marker.

9.   Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again to form a tee pee.

10.                Put on your safety goggles.

11.                Pour a small amount of nail polish remover into the dish.

12.                Place the coffee filter in the tray so it stand upright.

13.                Observe as the colors begin to separate and spread on the filter                paper.

14.                Discuss with the students what colors they see.

15.                Place the coffee filter on paper towel to dry.  Try another color if you        want.

Check out these other chromatography lessons.