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February 22, 2010 7:21 PM Subscribe
What kinds of simple, safe chemical reactions can I do to really wow a group of 6th graders?
posted by kro to education (33 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I'm working on planning a lesson for a group of 6th graders in an advanced science class I'm student-teaching in. In the actual lesson, they'll be working with calcium chloride, baking soda, phenol red indicator, and a few other things to measure changes in heat during chemical reactions. Despite being in an advanced science class, many of them haven't ever had much of an experience with chemical reactions. For my first lesson, I used a Bill Nye video to introduce the kids to what we were looking at- but this time I really want to do some kind of demonstration. Something past baking soda and vinegar or Alka-seltzer tablets.
The ideal demonstration would:
1. be short (I can do as much advanced set up as needed but the actual demonstration needs to be <5 minutes long)
2. use relatively simple ingredients- we can order some things or obtain others through the university chemistry program but that's not a guarantee. bonus for household items
3. be safe enough to do in a middle school classroom
4. have some kind of wow factor- small explosion, color change
Thanks for any ideas!