Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chemistry class

We had chemistry class this week. There are 7 students: my 3 kids and 4 other homeschooled kids who come. I aimed the class at a junior-high-school level since my two oldest are 13 and 10, but my 6-year-old participates too, because it's easier to let him be there than to find someone else's house for him to go to. The only part of the class he doesn't like is waiting his turn to do the experiments.

This week we learned about plastics and polymers. We made slime to play with. We tested two kinds of plastic containers to see what boiling water would do to them. (Water bottles that say "1" on the bottom do not hold up well to boiling water.) We filled sandwich baggies with water, closed them up, then stuck sharpened pencils right through them. They don't leak because of the polymers they're made of. (Well, when you pull the pencils out they leak. So do it over the sink.)

We have two classes left, and for the last class I'm going to let the kids decide which experiments they want to do again -- kind of a "greatest hits" list. Here are my predictions for what they'll choose:

Dropping Mentos into Diet Coke to make geysers.
Setting fire to steel wool to make sparklers.
Making rockets out of film canisters, baking soda and vinegar.
Making slime.
Melting Styrofoam with acetone.
Making sparks and flames with hydrogen peroxide and yeast.

The kids will vote at our next class, January 14. I'll be interested to see how close my predictions are!

1 comment:

Reg said...

How fun! I need the slime recipe!