Why does popcorn pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding. This is an example of a commonplace chemical reaction. Another common chemical reaction is oxidation. Tarnished silver, rust on a bicycle, and discoloration in spoiled meats are all results of oxidation. Taking a closer and more analytical look at everyday chemical reactions can be interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the more elaborate and engaging demonstrations!
One of summer’s best gifts is sunshine, and the long hours of daylight are perfect for sun-based science explorations. Experiments calling for the creation of sun dials, solar ovens, water stills, and other scientific tools can lead participants towards learning about UV radiation, the relationship between light and heat, and many other light-based scientific concepts.
CCED seeks to bring international focus to environmental causes, such as clean air, water, and energy. ACS offers events, contests, and educational resources for members, chemical educators, and chemistry enthusiasts to illustrate the positive role that chemistry plays in preserving the Earth.
The 2014 American Chemical Society’s Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Illustrated Poem Contest invites students in grades K-12 to write and illustrate poems about water. The official theme, “Wonders of Water,” encourages students of all ages to ponder the role that water plays in their daily lives, in the natural world around them, and in the chemical and physical properties of everything on earth…
With chilly temperatures and icicles, we’re having the perfect winter for some great snow studies this year! The white coating that covers our landscape here in New England not only offers opportunities for winter sports, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too! The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost are just waiting to be discovered…
Passport to Chemistry Adventure at Mt. Holyoke College Experiment with science at home, and work towards a chance to participate in a special chemistry adventure day at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Families can sign out chemistry kits from their local library and do experiments at home. Participating libraries include: South Hadley Public Library; Wilbraham Public Library; Emily Williston Memorial Library (Easthampton); Edwards Library (Southampton); and Mount Holyoke College Library… Read More
Passport to Chemistry Adventure Experiment with science at home, and work towards a chance to participate in a special chemistry adventure day at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Families can sign out chemistry kits from their local library and do experiments at home. Participating libraries include: South Hadley Public Library, M. N. Spear Memorial Library (Shutesbury), Wilbraham Public Library and Emily Williston Memorial Library (Easthampton). There are kits available for K-2nd… Read More
If you have never made butter, these instructions may sound strange, but trust me, it works wonderfully. The first thing to do is to let the cream sit on the counter, at room temperature, for about 12 hours. I put it out on the counter after supper, and I had freshly made butter on my toast the next morning.
The Chemistry of Candles Did you realize modern candle wicks are a marvel of engineering? A professor at the University of Nottingham takes a look at candle chemistry in this special video for Halloween. Want to learn more? Check out The Chemical History of the Candle by Michael Faraday
Chemical of the Week: Fireworks This explanation of the chemistry of fireworks discusses the compounds that produce specific colors of fireworks, the production and ignition of fireworks, the reactions (oxidations and reductions) that cause the explosions, fireworks safety, and the origins of gunpowder. From a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Click here to review the site. [(c) LII] An excellent site for students of home studies.
Milk contains proteins. These proteins are long, string-like molecules that form a network in the bubble reducing its surface tension. Less surface tension lets the bubbles last longer, making it easier to fill the glass.