Stephen Buzzi states that as another school year approaches and the students begin to wonder what this year will have in store for the, With Math and Geography bringing the usual delights. Their thoughts might turn to Science. They know they can have fun in Science with Bunsen burners ad crazy chemicals. Hey maybe this year won’t be so bad after all. Most scientists will find their interest in this classes, they may decide that this is what they want to do with their life. They will strive for the knowledge and ability to know anything and everything about the world around us. Inspiring teachers who allow you to bring science alive in front of your eyes could be one or the reason for the passion that these students feel for science and the world around them.
With that in mind lets reminisce about the craziest and most fun experiments that we did at school. Grab your lab coat and a partner and put those goggles on! Were going in. Who can possibly forget the flame test, especially when the naughty kids started threatening to set each other on fire! The purpose of the flame test, other than this is to identify which metals are contained in the various metal compounds that you will test in this experiment. The way that you will know is that each metal will burn a different color when it reacts with the metal ions in the metal salts that you will test.
This is a fabulous experiment that grabs everyone’s attention, the arty type students find the flame colors pretty and the whole of the class have been introduced to analytical processes as well as learning a bit more about what science is really about.
The next fun test was to test out cell types and structures. This is what you probably remember as the onion test. You can check what an onion cell looks like compared to a cheek swab. You will learn how to use the microscopes and about the building blocks of any human thing. A camera can even be attached to the microscope so that you can all take photos of your work and findings.
The next thing you can do is test if substances are acid or alkaline, a stir will be caused here as the teacher will have to tell you that some of these chemicals that you are testing are very dangerous, unless they aren’t allowed to do that anymore. You will lean about the concepts of PH and be introduced to the PH strips which some call litmus paper and which determines if a liquid is acid or alkaline. You can then determine the PH of various things such as lemon juice, fizzy drinks, rain water, tap water, window cleaner and vinegar are some popular ones to try.
I have left the most mind bending one until last, the one where it looks as though the water is bending inside the filled up beaker, this is due to light slightly changing direction when it goes from air into water. This introduces the students to the theory that science isn’t always what it seems and reasons why things happen can and often are just theories.