National Chemistry Week is an organization that was created to spark the interest of chemistry into children across the nation. Every year this organization takes one week to explain the importance of chemistry and demonstrate how it can also be fun. This year we taught the children of Raymond Elementary how to create volcanos in a bag, a lava lamp, and even determine which orange juice contained the most vitamin C, Sunny D or Minute Maid.
Last year I participated in National Chemistry Week and had an amazing time. So, this year I was not as nervous as I was last year about having to work with children. However, once I learned that we would be teaching them how to create a volcano in a bag, I became concerned. I had never done an experiment like this and the name sounded kind of intimidating. To make a volcano in a bag we used a Ziploc snack bag, baking soda, and vinegar. First we had to pour some baking soda into one corner of the bag. Then, without letting the baking soda and vinegar mix, we had to pour vinegar into the opposite corner of the bag. After we had both corners filled we then had to seal the bag up tightly. Once it was sealed the elementary students could shake the bag to mix the two components. When the two mixed they produced a gas which made the bag swell. However, as easy as it sounds, I failed many times because I did not create a tight enough seal on the bag, and the gas would escape. Another big hit with the younger students was the lava lamps. First we would fill an empty water bottle halfway up with colored way and the rest of the way up with oil. We then explained to the children why oil and water did not mix. After that we dropped half of an Alka-Seltzer tablet into the bottle. This also created a gas which caused bubbles to form and float through the bottle, resembling a lava lamp. However, dropping to much of an Alka-Seltzer into the bottle created an overflow. I learned that the hard way.
Despite my few mess ups, I have...