Articles

    Bath Bombs

    May 2017: What is a bath bomb and why does it fizz when it goes into water? A bath bomb is a solid, powdery substance which can take many shapes. Here is one pictured below. As it's submerged in water, it bubbles. This is the result of the release of CO2 also known as carbon dioxide. This is the...

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    Water, Water, Everywhere

    April 2017: Materials: Paper or Styrofoam cups Ink pen Pencil Water bottle with cap Push pin Experiment: A) Begin by pushing the pen into the cup about 1 inch from the bottom and follow with two more holes, each 1 inch above the previous one. Above the sink or a tub, plug the holes w...

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    So Much Pressure!

    March 2017: As a kid doing dishes (does anyone do those anymore?), I was always fascinated when I had a glass filled with water and if you put a small plate on top of it and tipped it over, the water would stay in the glass. Back then it never made sense to me how this happened. Materials: - Pa...

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    My Cup Overflows

    February 2016: Here’s the challenge: Fill a glass with water as full as you can without it spilling over. How many paperclips do you think you can add before the water spills over the rim of the glass? Materials: - Box of paper clips or a lot of pennies- Drinking glass- Dishwashing soap ...

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    Windows on a Soda-pop Can

    January 2017: Have you ever seen a can crushed? How about one that has been ripped apart? Crushing an aluminum can may not take that much strength but ripping one apart would be very difficult to do. That is unless you’ve had a little chemical help. Materials: Copper Sulfate (can be fou...

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    You have to try it to believe it!

    December 2016: After taking last month off of writing ChemShorts for Kids, I thought I’d add another little trick from the Illinois State Fair that Frank Salter shared with many attendees. Materials: Coke bottle (or any bottle that narrows to the top but has a pronounced neck) A pen ca...

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    They Say the Water in Rio de Janeiro was Bad!

    October 2016: I just got back from the Illinois State Fair where the ACS had their tent set up. Frank Salter did many of the demonstrations at the fair and shared this one with me. Apparently back during the Vietnam Conflict, our troops did not always have access to clean, pathogen free water. To...

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    Packing Peanuts

    September 2016: Have you noticed that packing peanuts look different? Sometimes they are different colors (but that’s just because they add some color to the material in the peanut). The ones that are really different exist because they are made out of two very different materials. The orig...

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    Hot Steel Wool - Part II

    May, 2016: Kids, back in 2010, we looked at the reaction of iron in steel wool with oxygen by combining the wool with vinegar to remove the protective coating on it and saw the temperature rise as the wool is wrapped around a thermometer - http://chicagoacs.org/articles/212. The temperature...

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    Council Report 2016 #1 National Meeting San Diego

    The 251st National Meeting of the ACS was held in San Diego, CA, from March 13 – 17, 2016. The theme of this meeting was “Computers in Chemistry.” The Chicago section was represented by Charles Cannon (Local Section Activities), Dave Crumrine (Constitution and Bylaws), Russ Johnson...

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