Milk and Soap Experiment

Description:  Milk is made up of water, fat, and proteins. Each of these molecules have charges and are held together by intramolecular forces. When the dish soap is added to the plate it quickly disperses across the surface as it is attracted to the water molecules and the food coloring is pulled along. This could be used as an anchoring phenomenon on matter, materials, or intramolecular forces.

Web Resource:  Colors on the Mooooove - ACS


Indestructible Coating - Polyurea

Description:  In this video a watermelon is covered with a polymer and survives a drop from a large tower. The polymer is formed when two reactants join to make a flexible and durable polymer known as a polyurea. The chemical reaction is exothermic, releasing heat as the reactants combine. This phenomenon could be used in a unit on chemical reactions, extended structures or chemical engineering. The company Line-X uses this polymer to make bed liners for pickup trucks.

Web Resources:  Polyurea - Wikipedia, Line-X


The Ten Most Useful Lego Bricks

Description:  In lower elementary science, students will learn that objects are made of pieces which can be disassembled and reassembled into new objects. The pieces that most students are familiar with are Legos. A good way to use this phenomenon is to ask your students the following question: "What are the 10 most useful Lego bricks?" or "What are the 10 most common Lego bricks?" The answer is less important than the idea that object are made of pieces (2-PS1-3) and that properties of different materials are used for different purposes (2-PS1-2).

Web Resource:  Gizmodo - The 10 Most Useful LEGO Bricks

By Alan Chia (Lego Color Bricks) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Will It Conduct?

Description:  Conductivity is an excellent way to classify material by their observable properties. Conducting material (e.g. metal), non-conducting material (e.g. plastic), and semi-conducting material (e.g. graphite) should all be used. A simple circuit with a lightbulb is used to determine the conductivity of different materials. These properties can be used to determine if a chemical change has occurred by testing before and after substances have been mixed. These properties can also be used in the design of an engineering solution.

Web Resource:  Teach Engineering - Conductivity

will it conduct.jpg

Precious Plastic

Description:  Precious Plastics was created in 2013 by Dave Hakkens. It is a website that shares DIY plans for building machines that can recycle plastic. Plastic is recreated through a non-reversible reaction and if it isn't recycled this valuable plastic is often lost forever when it is dumped in a landfill. These plans have spawned a community of DIY plastic recyclers around the world. Even though most students lack the ability to construct these machines it may lead to simple projects like the Ecobricks project linked below.

Web Resources:  Precious Plastic, Ecobricks - plastic, solved