Thursday, January 15, 2009

Science experiment vote results

Well, the kids in the chemistry class have voted and all votes have been counted. Because this is a benevolent dictatorship and not a democracy, I get to break all ties and veto any vote I don't like. (The write-in vote for "build an incendiary device" was vetoed promptly and firmly.) And I have to say I did pretty well predicting the results of the voting. Here's what we'll be doing at our last class, two weeks from now:

Playing with fire: Making lamps from paper towels and vegetable oil; producing oxygen from hydrogen peroxide and yeast and using it to make fire; lighting steel wool on fire to make molten-iron "sparklers."

Worrying the neighbors: Setting off film-canister vinegar-and-baking-soda "rockets"; dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke. (Good thing the lawn is already muddy.)

Making a big mess: Testing the gel inside disposable diapers to see how much water it will hold; using soap to make pepper move on water; and, of course, making slime (from glue and borax) and "oobleck" (from cornstarch and water).

I think you'll agree that these three main categories are probably the way a lot of famous scientists got started.

The chemistry class has been a lot of fun. I hated chemistry in high school because I had a hard time understanding it and kept getting farther and farther behind. Now that I've gone through the subject on a more basic level, I understand it better and I'm amazed to find that I really like it! It's also been fun to see the enthusiasm of the kids in the class and how much fun they have with the experiments, often coming up with new things to try that I would never have thought of.

1 comment:

Reg said...

I wish I went to school with you!