Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween Science Sale

Happy Halloween
All Products 15% off
October 27th and 28th
Check out my glow stick journal.  It is great for Halloween and teaches how temperature affects the speed of a chemical reaction.
Investigating the Brightness of Glow Sticks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Making Slime in the Classroom

You have been Slimed!!
Recently a students said, "This is so much fun.  I love it when we get to make a mess."  Messes can be a great part of learning.  Slime is one of those great things.  Perfecting how to maintain classroom management, not making the custodian upset, and having it be hands on can be very intimidating.  Here is a recipe and steps that I think is teacher friendly, as well as giving the students a hands on experience.  The goal is to have your solutions mixed ahead of time and then all the students have to do is mix the two solutions together.  You can have the class help mix the solutions too.  That is all up to how you run your classroom.  In this busy world of teaching it is hard to squeeze in the science, but it is so important.  With a little prep your students can have a wonderful slime experience.

Here are some pictures from a recent class I did this with.  The students worked in groups of 3.  The recipe made enough for each of them to use and take some home.  Check out the recipe below.

 Students enjoy pulling the slime out of the cup.  Yes, it will sound like the noise putty you can buy. The kids of course will say it is farting.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Perfecting Leaf Chromotography

I decided to test to see if rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover(acetone) would create the best leaf chromatography.  After trying leaf chromatography recently with dismal results this worked much

Flat Coffee Filter
Spinach Leaf
Small Mason Jar
50% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
Safety Goggles


1.  Cut the filter paper into a rectangle with a point like shown. 

2.  Place the spinach leaf on top of the filter paper.  Roll the quarter over the spinach leaf to press a green line into the filter paper just above the point.  It is a good idea to let it dry about 15 minutes.

3.  Attach the top of the filter paper to the pencil using tape.

4.  Pour about an inch of acetone into the mason jar. 

5.  Place the tip of the filter paper into the jar.  Make sure just the tip of the filter paper touches the acetone.  The pencil will help balance the paper.

6.  Observe the acetone traveling up the filter paper and carrying pigments along with it.

7.  When the acetone almost reaches the pencil take it out of the jar.

8.  Follow steps 1-7 for 50%Isopropyl Alcohol

My students enjoyed the leaf chromatography.  They did find that the colors fade rather quickly on the filter paper.  Below are pictures of the acetone being used.  We have green, bluish green, and yellow.  The acetone has more fumes.  We tented some aluminum foil over the top and that helped.  It is also good to have an open window. 

Here is a comparison of 50% isopropyl alcohol and acetone.  You can see that the alcohol on the left did not have much color separation. 

This would work well as a science project.  There are many other changes that can be made.  Isopropyl alcohol comes in different strengths.  The are many different types of filter paper.  Think of all of the leaves you could test.  Just remember to practice good lab practices and be safe with any chemicals used.