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albqbrian
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 11:13
Simple,basic experiments...


I'd like to pick all your brains for some simple chem experiments. I will certainly do my own research, but I figured there is vast experience in the members that I could also tap.

Here's the deal. I live overseas and my kids attend a British international school. I was chatting with a couple of moms whose sons are friends with mine. the boys are 12. These ladies are Asian and are certainly the "Tiger Mom" type. Their boys have tutors for most of their subjects; except hands on chemistry. So they asked me if I'd be interested in teaching the boys. It sounds great to me; I've been toying with the idea for a while myself. One mom volunteered her back porch for our lab. So Monday we're going to make an initial run to the local chem supply place. Ohhh, if only I had a place like this in the US. It's relatively small (two man op), but extremely well stocked. And best of all; they'll sell us anything we want!!! Plus these moms are loaded and will happily pay for the supplies.

So I plan on doing some basics: distillation, fractional distillation, recrystallization, titration, etc. I also plan on doing some biodiesel work as it covers a lot of topics plus being pleasantly trendy.

I'd love some simple examples for the things I'm planning to do. For distillation I figured I could start with antifreeze. Any good ideas for the crystallization and fractional distillation. Plus any nice, simple reactions that would be interesting/illuminating.

As for my background, I've been a lifelong amateur chemist. getting my first full lab when I was nine and most recently am into ammonium perchlorate composite rocket propellants. I also have a degree in chemistry. I am really looking forward to this!!

Thanks all.
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Mirage
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 11:35


Quote: Originally posted by albqbrian  
Plus any nice, simple reactions that would be interesting/illuminating.


Well, I know a few fun ones i have done in the past are messing with phenolphthalein, and other indicators. Blue bottle is a classic.

I don't know if you would like to show them the "Nitric acid fountain" but it is a really fun, albeit dangerous, demonstration.

One that they should love, I know I still do, is Making ammonium chloride fog. Basically, when gaseous HCl and gaseous NH3 react, they form microcrystalline particles of NH4Cl. You can set up a fog making generator pretty easily. Check online, there are many write-ups of this experiment.

As for distillation, again, I don't know how the moms would be about making diethyl ether from sulphuric acid and ethanol.

A good O-chem experiment could be extracting acetylsalicylic acid from aspirin, converting to salicylic acid, then reacting it to make methyl salicylate.

I always get a kick out of little bottle rockets as well.

I wouldn't want to be held responsible for the well being of these children. I wouldn't do anything to dangerous, and make sure they don't have access to any of the chems.

Wish my mom, had put me in something like this, and that we had a chem supplier.

Hope this helps
Mirage
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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 11:48


You can use copper sulphate, which is a must in the common laboratory for crystallization, which can be acheived by slow cooling of a hot saturated solution of it.
I would also suggest reading the activities shown in their school books(I don't know what kind of syllabus system they have in your country), and give them a practical experiment for it.
You can also perform awesome colour change experiments using sodium hydroxide, potassium permanganate, and sugar here,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU5zNw2xAxI
Hope you found it useful.

[Edited on 06-10-2011 by Bhaskar]
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 12:06


potassium nitrate is also good for crystallization but not as colourful as copper sulphate, elephants toothpaste is a fun demo for catalyst demonstrations either using KI or Mno2 as the catalyst , saturated super cooled sodium acetate is also a good demo. as for fractional distillation a mixture of short chain alcohols could be used to show how compounds with similar boiling points can be separated via distillation. also extraction of caffiene from energy drinks using dichloromethane or ethyl ethanoate.
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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 12:13


I also wouldn't recommend doing the 'nitric acid fountain' one proposed by Mirage because of the risk of poisoning due to the emission of extremely poisonous red nitrogen dioxide .
Read about all the experiments you are about to do before attempting them, because we don't want kids suddenly dropping unconcious on the floor of your lab now do we?



[Edited on 06-10-2011 by Bhaskar]
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zoombafu
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 13:03


You cant go wrong with this book:
Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science)

By far my favorite. It has tons of experiments and covers everything that you would learn in a college chemistry class while still keeping it fun and easy. I highly recommend it.

[Edited on 10-3-2012 by zoombafu]




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neptunium
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 13:41


yes by Robert Bruce Thompson few youtube references great book great stuff! have fun



“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” Albert Einstein
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entropy51
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 14:22


I doubt that you can do better than The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments

Not only are there illustrated experiments, but there is background reading on basic chemistry.

Urban legend has it that the experiments are so dangerous that the government banned the book, which is utter tripe.

The experiments are rather tame compared to what most of us did in the 1960's and very few would be too dangerous for 10 year olds if done under the direct supervision of a competent adult with chemistry knowledge.

[Edited on 10-3-2012 by entropy51]
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 19:08


I remember this book in the 8th grade, what a treasure for the young mind. There's a copy for $200 on Amazon used. I guess back when it came out, it was a different world in the same way "A Young Man's Book of Amusement" fit the norms of it's time. I used the author's last name for my screen name it had such an influence on me.

"Alfred P Morgan’s “Simple Chemical Experiments” was another great book. Particularly the chapter on “Safe Fireworks”. I had a lot of fun with that. That book now fetches big money on the used market. Hopefully someone will scan it and set it free."
http://chemistry.about.com/b/2008/08/05/banned-book-the-gold...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Powell_Morgan
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Mirage
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 19:27


Yes, the Nitric fountain would be dangerous.........unless you were thinking ahead and you led the excess NO2 into another flask containing NaOH so that everything is neutralized. You can even add an indicator to the NaOH flask so that you can make sure no NO2 escapes.

Mirage


Edit: Spelling *neutralized

[Edited on 11-3-2012 by Mirage]
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S.C. Wack
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[*] posted on 10-3-2012 at 22:33


Maleic to fumaric acid, by heating with HCl and recrystallization from same.

PS: Formic acid the old-fashioned way, or ammonia from ammonium, is a gentle introduction to the nastier side, before going to the halogens.

[Edited on 11-3-2012 by S.C. Wack]




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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 11-3-2012 at 09:53


Quote: Originally posted by Mirage  
Yes, the Nitric fountain would be dangerous.........unless you were thinking ahead and you led the excess NO2 into another flask containing NaOH so that everything is neutralized. You can even add an indicator to the NaOH flask so that you can make sure no NO2 escapes.

Mirage


Edit: Spelling *neutralized

[Edited on 11-3-2012 by Mirage]

But then how will you compare that with a volcano if you attach a tube to the rim?
The effect won't be observable...
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Mirage
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[*] posted on 11-3-2012 at 10:38


I think that we are thinking of different experiments. In mine, you have a stoppered flask with a glass tube leading to another flask full of water. You add copper and nitric to the first flask and allow reaction to proceed because it is exothermic, once no more gas is produced, water is sucked back to the first flask, producing a nice blue color, from the second flask containing water.

My variation would be, add a 2 hole stopper to the second flask a lead the second hole to another flask containing NaOH.

Yes a volcano would be slightly dangerous...

Mirage


Quote: Originally posted by Bhaskar  
Quote: Originally posted by Mirage  
Yes, the Nitric fountain would be dangerous.........unless you were thinking ahead and you led the excess NO2 into another flask containing NaOH so that everything is neutralized. You can even add an indicator to the NaOH flask so that you can make sure no NO2 escapes.

Mirage


Edit: Spelling *neutralized

[Edited on 11-3-2012 by Mirage]

But then how will you compare that with a volcano if you attach a tube to the rim?
The effect won't be observable...
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nezza
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[*] posted on 11-3-2012 at 14:22


One of the things that got me interested was simple precipitation reactions, for example lead nitrate and potassium iodide. How these 2 colourless reagents gave a bright yellow precipitate when mixed fascinated me. Other ones with interesting colour reactions :-

Potassium chromate + silver nitrate - yellow to red
Sodium hydroxide + silver nitrate - Colourless to brown

There are many other
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Mirage
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[*] posted on 11-3-2012 at 14:52


Silver mirror is another great experiment.
Sorry if I should have edited my last post.

Mirage
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albqbrian
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 00:48
Thanks...


I appreciate all the ideas. I need to strike a balance. I have to make it interesting, but I also need to teach them something. Being that they're 12; I can't do any real in-depth things.

I made a trip to the supply place today. OMG!!! Imagine, a whole store room of reasonably priced hardware as well as a chem room with all sorts of great chems. Once again, very reasonably priced. The two moms stuck their head in, wrinkled their noses, and left. I stayed until they came and pulled me out. A few items I noted in the inventory: CS2, CCl3,CCl4,EtOH, HNO3,H2SO4,HgO, HgI,Na,phenylhydrazine,plus all the usual oxidizers, metal powders, etc. Some were quite old, most were relatively new. A kid in a candy store no doubt!

Well, I'll make the best of it. If you have other ideas; especially those that are nicely colored; just drop them here.

In passing I did mention to the moms about some rocket stuff. They then thought that rockets, or fireworks, could be something that might keep the boys interested. Might??? Moms, they are something. I agreed that they had a good idea there; that maybe I could use things like that to "reward" them for progress in their more normal chem work. Oh yeah, now that I think about it; I did forget to tell them of all those types of things that I did when I was that age. No harm, no foul.
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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 01:56


Quote: Originally posted by albqbrian  

....A few items I noted in the inventory: CS2, CCl3,CCl4,EtOH, HNO3,H2SO4,HgO, HgI,Na,phenylhydrazine,...
..........Well, I'll make the best of it. If you have other ideas; especially those that are nicely colored; just drop them here.

The first post(my post) in this thread is an extremely beautiful colour changing one in which the sol. Changes colour from violet to green to urine like orangish-yellow over a period of time according to concentration of potassium permanganate in it, the link I have given you already. Also, Mercuric compounds are quite toxic and should only be handled by professional experts(not that isn't you) but experimenting with it in a lab full 12-year old kids isn't axactly safe. Bet you can keep them safe, but the risk is still high,
Happy for you,
Bhaskar

[Edited on 06-10-2011 by Bhaskar]
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 04:47


I have written a webpage with experiments for children, which they can do themselves (of course with supervision):

http://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/exps/child/index....




The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at http://www.oelen.net/science
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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 12-3-2012 at 06:22


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
I have written a webpage with experiments for children, which they can do themselves (of course with supervision):

http://woelen.homescience.net/science/chem/exps/child/index....

It's an awesome web page!
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Vikascoder
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[*] posted on 14-3-2012 at 01:06


show them potassium permanganate+ glycerol
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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 14-3-2012 at 01:35


Quote: Originally posted by Vikascoder  
show them potassium permanganate+ glycerol

That's a must.
Vikascodar, congrats on reaching 100 posts, even though your user rank will not upgrade until another 150...
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[*] posted on 14-3-2012 at 08:23


Quote: Originally posted by Bhaskar  
Quote: Originally posted by Vikascoder  
show them potassium permanganate+ glycerol

That's a must.
Vikascodar, congrats on reaching 100 posts, even though your user rank will not upgrade until another 150...
what is this user rank . And it will upgrade when my post will become 250 or 150. Why it has not upgrade on hundred :mad:
Quote: Originally posted by Bhaskar  
Quote: Originally posted by Vikascoder  
show them potassium permanganate+ glycerol

That's a must.
Vikascodar, congrats on reaching 100 posts, even though your user rank will not upgrade until another 150...
what is this user rank . And it will upgrade when my post will become 250 or 150. Why it has not upgrade on hundred
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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 23-3-2012 at 20:49


Check the FAQ's, it will show you. :)
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Bot0nist
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[*] posted on 23-3-2012 at 21:25


Just curious, but why does it matter? It is what you contribute in discussions and what you glean from the community that is important. A high post count means nothing by its self, IMO.



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Bhaskar
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[*] posted on 9-4-2012 at 02:48


Quote: Originally posted by Bot0nist  
Just curious, but why does it matter? It is what you contribute in discussions and what you glean from the community that is important. A high post count means nothing by its self, IMO.

Well, noone said that it matters, but your opinion is quite right! Look at me, I hated being harmless, so posted everywhere where ever I could, now it doesn't matter to me, it was just the idea of being the lowest rank that bothered me.
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