The Empirical Formula of Magnesium Oxide Lab: A Successful Failure, Next Steps—and an Important Lesson

Michael Jansen reflects on a very common empirical formula lab that asks students to determine the empirical formula of MgxOy. He then explains how he continues to use it as a "successful failure", how he demonstrates an alternate procedure and leads his students to an important lesson.

The Hindenburg

I have always been intrigued by the story of the Hindenburg, the iconic airship that caught fire on May 6, 1937. The accident killed 35 of the 100 passengers and crewmembers on board. As a chemistry teacher, I discuss this from a chemical standpoint and the fact that the airship was filled with hydrogen, a flammable gas, rather than helium, a non-flammable gas, as today’s modern airships are.

ACS Publishes Safety Alert

Robert H. Hill, Jr., Ph.D., Chair, ACS Committee on Chemical Safety asked us to post the following alert about the Rainbow Demonstration. I hope chemistry teachers will share the alert with their networks.

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 pa