Chemistry for the clueless


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When asked to come up with some fun summer activities and tie in chemistry, this is the final product. I know so little about chemistry, but found this fun and educational. So, all you fellow ELA teachers, rejoice! This is for you too.

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Chemistry for the clueless

  1. 1. CHEMISTRY FOR IDIOTS  Where did this idea of chemistry begin?  A) Ancient Africa  B) The Middle ages (1066-1300‟s)  C) Modern France  D) Ancient Greece
  2. 2. THAT WAS A LONG, LONG, LONG, TIME AGO!  Democritus (456 BCE-370 BCE) and Leucippus (teacher): Brilliance not feeble- minded!  Democritus theorized that all matter is made up of atoms and that atoms are physically indivisible, infinite in number, in constant motion and are indestructible.
  3. 3. WHAT IS AN ATOM?  Atoms-117575539
  4. 4. WHAT’S NEXT?  Glad you asked: Math! Democritus also was the first to notice (that‟s geometry) that a cone or pyramid has one-third the volume of a cylinder or prism respectively with the same base and height. Also, a cone divided in a plane parallel to its base produces two surfaces (Wheelwright 1966).
  5. 5. FORMULA FOR FINDING THE VOLUME OF A CONE OR PYRAMID:  V (volume) = 1/3 r2h  What‟s that mean?  It means to find the volume of a cone, you need to multiply 1/3 times  (3.14…) r (radius)2 times the hypotenuse. You try it!
  6. 6. ICE CREAM ANYONE? I want ice cream! How much ice cream can we fit into this waffle cone? We must figure the volume first so we can watch our calories! Below we are given the height (h) of 7 inches and the width, which is 3 ¼ inches. So how do we find the radius? Well the radius is half way between each side Of the cone, so we need to divide 3 ¼ in half! (that‟s 1.625) V (volume) = 1/3 r2h Height: (back) 7" - Width: 3 1/4"
  7. 7. CALCULATE! Okay 1/3 times r2h We need to break this into steps: 1/3 (*1.625 2-=26) Now we need to multiply 26 * 7 and divide the whole thing by 1/3! 1/3 ( 182.34) = roughly 60.72. Now that‟s a lot of ice cream!
  8. 8. WHY ARE WE DOING MATH IN THE SUMMER?  Okay, let‟s get back to the chemists…or as they evolved into ALCHEMISTS.  These guys lived from (1000-1650) and they actually thought they could change the chemical compounds of matter like lead and other metals into gold and they even tried to develop a formula (elixir) for prolonging life!
  9. 9. WHAT IS ALCHEMY?  English lesson…etymology (history of words)  See where this word came from!  From Old French alkemie, arquemie (French alchimie) < Medieval Latin alkimia < Arabic al-kīmiyā‟) < article al +Ancient Greek χημεία or χυμεία (chēmeia or chymeia) originally “a mingling, infusion, juice, liquid, especially as extracted from plants” and later “alchemy”, < perhaps from Χημία (Chēmia), “„black earth (ancient name for Egypt)‟”) and/or χυμός (chymos), “„juice, sap‟”). (Compare Spanish alquimia and Italian alchimia) (
  10. 10. PANACEA  You didn‟t know you were getting an English lesson too, did you?  Panacea-this comes from the Greek, πανάκεια (panakeia) & Latin, panacēa and it means all cure or all healing.
  11. 11. SCIENCE OR MYTH?  Is there a cure-all for every disease and malady (disease or disorder) known to man?  No, but that did not stop the alchemists from trying to find it.  They did lead to the science of inorganic chemistry, so not everything they did was weird!
  13. 13. EVIL SITH MONSTERS The Sith, dark forces against the Empire in Star Wars, used alchemy to change creatures Into monsters for their evil purposes.
  14. 14. NOW IT’S TIME FOR SOME FUN!  Excite some molecules!  try/animations/CHE1.3-an-animations.shtml  This is what the atoms of the first 11 elements look like.  Now try these experiments to see how some common household chemicals react to eachother…
  15. 15. OOOH…LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY COLORS!  Make sure you have an adult with you before you do this experiment!  1. Take a pine cone and place it in a fire-safe container, like a grill or on a solid fireproof surface outdoors.  Light the pinecone with a match and it will burn with a green flame. When heated up, boric acid creates the green flame.
  16. 16. BORON: (ATOMIC NUMBER: 5 SYMBOL: B)  2. Sprinkle it with Boric Acid, which you may purchase at a pharmacy or farm supply store.
  17. 17. VIOLA!  3. Light the pinecone with a match and it will burn with a green flame. When heated up, boric acid creates the green flame.
  18. 18. HERE’S SOMETHING WE ALL LIKE: ROCK CANDY!  Follow these steps to make your own rock candy. Give it to your little sister or brother and watch mom have a fit! He, he!
  19. 19. FYI: SUGAR IS ALSO KNOWN AS SUCROSE  The sucrose molecule is a disaccharide derived from glucose and fructose with the molecular formula C12H22O11.  That means that it is made from combining 12 atoms of Carbon, 22 of Hydrogen and 11 of Oxygen!  So, in this case 12 + 22 + 11 = 1!
  20. 20. STEP ONE:  Gather these ingredients-  2 cups water  4 cups granulated sugar  1/2-1 tsp flavoring extract or oil (optional)  food coloring (optional)  glass jar  skewer or thread (see below)
  21. 21. PREPARATION:  1. Prepare your materials: wash a glass jar thoroughly with hot water to clean it. Cut a length of thick cotton thread a few inches longer than the height of the jar, and tape it to a pencil. Place the pencil across the lip of the jar, and wind it until the thread is hanging about 1 inch from the bottom of the jar. Attach a paper clip to the bottom of the thread to weight it and ensure it hangs straight down. Alternately, you can use a wooden skewer as the base of your rock candy, and use clothespins balanced across the top of the jar to clip it into place.
  22. 22. PREPARATION:
  23. 23. SKEWER:  2. Wet your thread or wooden skewer, and roll it in granulated sugar. This base layer will give the sugar crystals something to “grab” when they start forming. Set the thread or skewer aside to dry while you prepare your sugar syrup.
  25. 25. BOIL: HEATING WATER TO 212° (THIS EXCITES WATER MOLECULES AND THAT IS WHY THEY MOVE ALL OVER THE PLACE!)  Place the water in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
  26. 26. BOILING
  27. 27. ADD THE SUCROSE (SUGAR)  Begin adding the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition. You will notice that it takes longer for the sugar to dissolve after each addition.
  28. 28. STIR & BOIL:  Continue to stir and boil the syrup until all of the sugar has been added and it is all dissolved. Once the syrup is entirely liquid and smooth, remove the pan from the heat.
  29. 29. FLAVORS & COLORS  If you are using colors or flavorings, add them at this point. If you are using an extract, add 1 tsp of extract, but if you are using flavoring oils, only add ½ tsp, and make sure you don‟t stand right in front of the pan—the scent can be very strong as it rises in the steam. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring and stir to ensure even, smooth color.
  30. 30. FLAVOR & COLOR
  31. 31. PREP YOUR JAR  Allow the sugar syrup to cool for approximately 10 minutes off the heat. Place a large-mouthed funnel over the top of the jar
  32. 32. POUR  The syrup into the jar through a funnel, but be careful not to drop the pot or you could get burned!
  33. 33. SKEWER IT~  Carefully lower the sugared skewer or string until it hangs about 1 inch from the bottom and fasten at the top with clothespins or balanced from a pencil.  Do not let the end of the skewer or string come too close to the bottom or sides of the jar, or else the rock candy will grow into the sides of the jar.  Carefully place your jar in a cool place, away from harsh lights, where it can sit undisturbed.  Cover the top loosely with plastic wrap or paper towel. You should start to see sugar crystals forming within 4-6 hours. If you have seen no change to your skewer or thread after 24 hours, try boiling the sugar syrup again and dissolve another cup of sugar into it, then pour it back into the jar and insert the string or skewer again.
  34. 34. DO NOT DISTURB!
  35. 35. YUM-O!  Allow the rock candy to grow until it is the size you want. This process will take up to a week, depending on how large you want your rock candy. Don‟t let it grow too large, otherwise it might start growing into the sides of your jar! Once it has reached the size you want, remove it and allow it to dry for a few minutes, then enjoy or wrap in plastic wrap to save it for later.
  36. 36. EAT IT!
  37. 37. YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED…  In the first picture, you saw strings, not skewers. That is because you may use kitchen string too if you do not have skewers. Use a paper clip at the end of the string to keep in weighted down and use a pencil to drape the string over and into the jar.
  38. 38. LAST THING…  Here‟s a brainteaser for you…  How long does it take water to boil?  Well, that depends on something….
  39. 39. DID YOU KNOW?  Water will boil at high altitudes, but it isn't as hot as boiling water at sea level. This is because the air pressure is lower at high elevations. Boiling occurs when the water is hot enough to have the same pressure as the surrounding air, so that it can form bubbles. At high altitudes, air pressure is lower than at sea level, so the water doesn't have to get so hot to get to boiling. Because the temperature of the boiling water is lower at high elevations than at sea level, it takes longer to bring water to a boil at higher altitudes than at sea level.  Most cookbooks consider 3,000 feet above sea level to be high altitude, although at 2,000 feet above sea level, the boiling temperature of water is 208 °F instead of 212 °F.  Adding a little salt to the water will cause the water to boil at a slightly higher temperature which can be helpful while cooking especially at high altitudes.