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

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  • 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

Video Demo: Glowing Penny

Another great demo from the Demo a Day: Chemistry Demonstration Book. To get chemical reactions started activation energy is needed. During a chemical reaction, heat energy is often released (exothermic) or absorbed (endothermic). To get this reaction started, a pre 1982 penny is heated over a Bunsen burner. The penny is wrapped in copper wire and held over the flame with tongs. Once the penny is heated, it is then placed into the 125 ml flask that contains a small amount of acetone liquid at the bottom. The penny does not touch the acetone, but is just above the surface. The copper in the penny reacts with the acetone fumes to produce a very exothermic reaction where the penny glows. The penny will continue to do this for several minutes.

Preparations: Make sure you adjust the penny and the copper wire so the penny just sits above the acetone. Do this before you heat the penny.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.


Video Demo: Diffusion

See 2 video demonstrations of diffusion in action. The first video shows a drop of food coloring diffusing through water. It is a video that is time lapsed at 1 frame/15 seconds. The second video shows a Ziploc bag of iodine placed into a beaker of starch water. It is a video that is time lapsed at 1 frame/30 seconds. The iodine diffuses out of the bag and into the starch water. Where the iodine is diffusing the starch water turns a dark blue.


Video Demo: 7 Inertia Demos

This video clip shows 7 demonstrations of Newton’s first law of motion–the law of inertia. Newton’s law of inertia states that objects moving at constant velocity will continue moving at constant velocity, unless acted upon by an outside unbalanced force. Six of these demonstrations (excluding demo 6) are from Tik Liem’s book Invitations to Science Inquiry. I have students volunteer to do all demos, except demo 5. All of the students in class receive a handout that they must fill in so that they understand how inertia is demonstrated and all the forces that are involved.


Video Demo: Cola Volcano

Signs of a chemical reaction include color change, gas production, temperature change, precipitation, and other changes in properties …including density, taste, texture, smell, melting point, boiling point, etc. This demonstration will really make them think about it. Place a large plastic container on the counter. Invert a large jar or beaker into the container. Set a 3/4 full liter of fresh cola on top. Carefully but quickly pour a cupful of sugar into the soda and stand back. The cola will burst out of the bottle. Most students will assume it is a gas production sense they can see all of the foam. Have the students taste the left over soda. It is very sweet and very flat, indicating the soda is still there and the carbon dioxide left. It is a physical change and not a chemical change. The sugar pushes out all of the carbon dioxide gas.


Starting Over

After using an old version of the Wordpress blog engine, I have decided to scrap the whole site and start over.  I don't have the right skill set to successfully use Wordpress and keep it up to date, so I am moving to Squarespace.com.  I have such an old version of Wordpress that I can't export my posts and import them into Squarespace.  So over the summer I am going to post all of my old entries one at a time to the new site.  For those that have been using my site over the years, I want to thank you and bear with me in this big transition.  Hopefully as a result, I will be more motivated to post in the future.  Thanks!

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