high school

Pyrex by any other name...

Did you know that Pyrex glassware used in chemistry labs is different than Pyrex glassware used in kitchens? Pyrex glass used in chemistry experiments is made of borosilicate glass, whereas the Pyrex used when baking is made of soda lime glass. What’s the difference?

Complex Ions Lab

This laboratory exercise accompanies the article "A guided group inquiry lesson on coordination compounds and complex ions". The laboratory serves as part of an extended exercise on the chemistry topic of coordination compounds and complex ions. The entire lesson as described in the article also exposes students to how chemical research is conducted and the conflicts and uncertainties that lead to new theories and discoveries.

Painting a Fair Picture of Science

“How Much Turmoil Does the Science Project Cause Families?” reads the tongue-in-cheek science-fair-style poster illustrating parent Susan Messina’s views on science fairs. Her materials list includes: at least 1 grudging parent, half-baked idea of very dubious merit, and procrastination.

Nail Bottle Demonstration in Slow Motion

The nail bottle demonstration is one that many of us have conducted in our classes. To perform this demonstration, 2 – 3 mL of ethanol is placed into a plastic bottle that has two nails punctured into opposite sides of the bottle. After stoppering the bottle, a Tesla coil is touched to one of the nails. A spark jumps from one nail to the other, which initiates the combustion of vaporized ethanol inside the bottle. We recently filmed this reaction with our high speed video camera.

Whoosh Bottle, take 1

My students and I intend to use a high-speed camera to film a variety of chemistry experiments in slow motion.  The first reaction we have decided to film is the “Whoosh Bottle”.  You can read more about this particular experiment in an article in Journal of Chemical Education here.  NOTE:  O