Science Mini-Experiments Email Series

Kai and Maile are two very engaging former students of Professor Suchocki. You will find them exploring chemistry in the kitchen and in the community throughout our chemistry curriculum at Conceptual Academy. Through their numerous video shorts, they highlight quick, easy, as well as useful hands-on activities that are applications of key chemistry concepts. Sign up for our mini-experiment email series and you’ll have “Kai and Maile” worthy hands-on activities delivered to you on a regular basis.

  • Fun, quick, and easy science experiments you can do with your kids with stuff you probably already have around the house.
  • Each mini-experiment you’ll find full of opportunities for discussing science principles.
  • Actively engaged minds love hands-on experiments that take ideas off paper and into reality.
  • Find new uses for everyday household items that get kids thinking.
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Sample Mini-Experiment: The Penny Copper Nail

These mini-experiments are fun, engaging, and provide questions that help guide scientific discovery. You will find many integrated into our courses. For this email series select activities are presented as stand-alone procedures to help bring science fun to your family and also to give you a sense of the quality of our curriculum. As with any science experiment, safety first. Adult supervision, common sense behavior, and we always recommend eye protection.

  1. CC4e11CuNailStir about half a teaspoon of salt into about half a cup of white distilled vinegar. Use a nonmetal container such as a ceramic or plastic bowl.
  2. Dip a tarnished penny halfway into the solution and notice the rapid cleaning effect.
  3. Add at least a dozen tarnished pennies to the solution. As they are cleaned, the concentration of copper ions in solution will increase.
  4. Sandpaper an iron nail to give it a clean surface and then rest the nail in the vinegar solution for about 10 minutes. Watch for the formation of copper metal on the nail!

When iron is exposed to oxygen and water if forms: ____________ (Rhymes with “dust”), which is reddish in color and also known as iron (III) oxide trihydrate. Similarly, copper reacts with oxygen to form a reddish kind of material, known as copper (I) oxide, that sticks to the penny, but is soluble in a salt/vinegar _________ (Rhymes with “dilution”). The copper ions in solution grab ___________ (a kind of a subatomic particle), from the iron to form metallic copper that coats the nail. See Chapter 11 of Conceptual Chemistry for more details.

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