Articles

    A Silicate Garden

    Kids, have you discovered the colorful rocks that grow into underwater stalagmites yet? The ingredients for making your own silicate or crystal garden are a bit too exotic for you to find around the house or in the grocery store. Your best bet is to go to your favorite toy store and look for a produ...

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    The Science of Money

    Kids, chemistry is so common that it can even be found in money. Here we'll learn some science about coins and bills. Let's talk about coins first. Pennies obviously look different by their color while all the rest appear to be the same silvery color, until the new 2000 "golden" Sacagawea dollar coi...

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    Testing the Texture of Toothpaste

    Kids, chemistry is so common that it can even be found in toothpaste. Chemists have worked hard to come up with the perfect stuff. Read the labels – you'll find out all kinds of interesting things. Here you'll find some information plus learn some tests you can do to compare different brands. ...

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    Pictorial Guide to Molecules

    Kids, here's a really cool guide to what some common atoms and molecules look like when we have a whole bunch of them together, and see their everyday appearance. Please note: All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult s...

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    A Shape Memory Metal

    Kids, did you ever imagine that there might be chemistry involved in braces? How about eyeglass frames? There is a special metal alloy called Nitinol that is often involved in both of these applications. It is a nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) alloy developed by chemists at the Naval Ordinance Lab (NOL) &sh...

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    The Chemistry Behind "Magic" Pens

    Kids, let¹s look at the cool chemistry that makes color-changing markers work. These special colored markers are used to make colorful masterpieces, and when they are drawn over with a special white marker the colors change. Let¹s be investigative about this and look at the science of this...

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    Crayon Chemistry

    Kids, did you ever wonder what crayons are made of and how all those different colors arise? You probably know that they are "wax" crayons, but let¹s go a little bit deeper than that. Waxes are a mixture of chemicals called esters, fatty acids, alcohols and hydrocarbons. They are for the most p...

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    Kevlar: The Millennium Molecule

    Kids, last month we learned about teflon and this month we'll learn about another amazing polymer (which is actually a really, really big molecule) called Kevlar. Kevlar is also called the "fabric of steel" because of its outstanding strength. Underwater, it is 20 times stronger than steel! Since it...

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    Teflon: A Guiness Record Holder

    Kids, did you know that teflon is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the slipperiest material in the world? The secret lies in its highly stable covalent bonds. Let¹s learn more about teflon's chemistry and do a little test of its amazing properties. Please note: All chemicals and...

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    Egg Engraving

    Kids, let's use some chemistry to engrave your name on a hard boiled egg. It's actually a process of reverse-engraving, because we'll make all of the shell disappear EXCEPT for your name Please note: All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performe...

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