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I made ScienceFix.com to share my favorite demos that I do in my middle school science classes.  

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Media that I like...
  • Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon
    Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon
    by Sara Howard
  • NOVA - Origins
    NOVA - Origins
    starring Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • Human Body: Pushing the Limits
    Human Body: Pushing the Limits
    starring Bray Poor
Thursday
Dec162010

Video Demo: Flaming Gummy Worm

I usually do this demo with a Gummy bear, but all I had was Gummy worms, so that's what I used.  Sucrose has a lot of energy stored in the bonds that hold the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms together.  With a little bit of activation energy (melting the potassium chlorate) and a large supply of oxygen gas, (supplied by the potassium chlorate) that energy gets released in the form of light and heat energy (exothermic).  

Wednesday
Dec082010

Video Demo: Fire Hand

This is one of my favorite demos with students.  Students get to hold methane bubbles in their hand and then experience the exothermic reaction when it reacts with oxygen in the air.  The look on their faces is pure amazement. 

Sunday
Dec052010

Video Demo: Activation Energy

Energy is needed to start a chemical reaction.  Unsurprisingly this is called activation energy.  The video above shows the activation needed to make red phosphorus react with oxygen in the air.  

Sunday
Nov282010

Video Demo: Water Electrolysis

I recently presented at the CSTA Conference and I was able to pick up a few new demonstrations.  In the past it was really difficult to demonstrate or do a lab activity that involved the electrolysis of water.  Luckily I sat in on Tara Krisch's (Orange Grove Middle School) presentation on compounds.  She shared a simple way for students to do water electrolysis.  The second demo also shows electrolysis, but in a slightly more colorful way.  

Sunday
Nov212010

Video Demo: Sugar Goo

Thirty ml of sugar (sucrose) (C12H22O11) is mixed with 30 ml of sulfuric acid (H2SO4).  A chemical reaction takes place to produce carbon, water (H2O) and sulfur trioxide (SO3).  It's a fun chemical reaction to observe because there are dramatic changes in color, smell (make sure good ventilation is present), and temperature (so much heat is released that it melts the plastic cup).  Gases are also produced which add to the drama.

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