Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

Chemistry is F9 U92 N7!

People often talk about “chemicals” in our food, water, or hygiene products in reference to possibly toxic or carcinogenic ingredients. Some chemicals certainly are dangerous to humans, but EVERYTHING is made up of chemicals! But what is the exact definition of a chemical, anyway? The Merriam-Webster definition of “chemical,” reads A substance obtained by a chemical process or producing a chemical effect. And chemistry is the study of how chemicals interact and react with one another.

Here Hank Green gives us a “crash course” in chemistry with a series of fast-paced, educational videos:

Cooking is often used as an example of an everyday activity which involves chemistry. When you apply heat to a piece of steak in a pan, water content leaves the muscle fibers. This is why the fillet is smaller after it has been cooked. Think about some other interesting reactions which occur in the kitchen. Why does corn pop? Another way to ask this question would be, why don’t other grains pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding.

What do these reactions look like close up? The website, has amazing videos of reactions, like this one: 

Another chemical reaction you have probably witnessed is combustion. This occurs when you strike a match. Flames, the visible part of a fire, are produced at the ignition point. Flames consist of carbon dioxide, water vapor, oxygen, and nitrogen. Another common chemical reaction is oxidation. Tarnished silver, rust on a bicycle, and discoloration in some spoiled meats are all results of oxidation.

To discover events that support an interest in chemistry, or have concepts of chemistry embedded within, be sure to subscribe to Hilltown Families free weekly eNewsletter for a heads-up on community-based educational events and resources in western Massachusetts!

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