Students in my classes have to determine if a substance has changed physically or chemically. In order to do that, they need to know if the properties of a substance has changed. We can look at many different properties of a substance such as color, density, boiling point, melting point, taste, texture, hardness, etc. One of the most exciting properties of matter is the color in which they burn. In the video above I show color flame candles and then show a demonstration of two different compounds, strontium chloride and copper sulfate, mixed with denatured alcohol, that produce large colorful flames.
Entries in video (87)
At the end of the year, students get a chance to be the scientists in several projects. One of my absolute favorites is the water bottle rocket. The video shows the general design of the rockets and several launches. What I love about the project is that they chose one variable to change that will increase flight distance. Variables include fin shape, fin size, fin placement, volume of water, etc. I also love that there is not just one design that works. Here is the handout that I give to students.
The densities of different liquids can be easily demonstrated by making a density column. Steve Spangler has a splendid density column demo that I decided to make on a much larger scale. Instead of using a graduated cylinder I decided to use a fluorescent light bulb tube guard. To seal one end of the tube I used duct tape and Goop so that no liquid would leak out. Once the tube is ready, it's just a a simple matter of pouring the liquids into the tube according to their densities. Check out the video for the results and for some additional tips.
Eggs have an arch design in which compression forces are diverted from the top and bottom of the egg down to the sides. How much compression force can an egg take before it's smashed? Watch the video!