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.

Types of Chemical Reactions

I expect that most high school chemistry teachers assign some type of laboratory related to types of chemical reactions including synthesis, decomposition, single replacement and double replacement reactions. I have used several published versions, but I am sharing my modifications. 

Freezing soap bubbles

Want to try an easy, yet interesting chemistry experiment this winter?  Try this:  Blow some bubbles into the outside winter air and catch one of the bubbles with a bubble wand.

Chemistree Holiday

My ChemClub students came to my room for a holiday celebration today. We made a batch of sea foam candy, experimented with Elephant Toothpaste, and marbled gift tags.

Fun with M & M's

This simple, yet interesting experiment that was first described by Elizabeth Sumner Walter in 2001. She merely had students pour water into a dish containing some Gobstoppers candies.

Sparking Marshmallows

Have you ever cooked a marshmallow in a microwave? In case you are not familiar with this experiment, when a marshmallow is heated in a microwave, gases trapped in the marshmallow expand and escape. When the gas molecules escape from the marshmallow, they push against the marshmallow, causing it to expand. Check out the video.

Energizer Lab - A Target Inquiry Activity

This lab was written as part of the Target Inquiry program at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Students build an electrochemical cell, learn about the symbolic equations used in electrochemistry and manipulate a model representing the particulate level of what is happening during the electrochemical process. 

Trend Setter Lab

Students will proceed through a pre-lab engagement activity, organize element cards based on similarities & trends, discuss trends with the class and then produce a periodic table that includes the trends discussed within the lab.