Of the nine labs we did in Fall 2010 I liked these the most:
- Papermaking. Students chose their own mix of recyclables and natural materials and created a 5” x 5” piece of homemade paper.
- Calories lab. Measuring food calories by burning the Pringle and also the peanut to heat up some water.
- Glassworking. Students bent, cut, and stretched glass tubing by melting it in a Bunsen Burner flame.
- Colored flames. Excitation of the orbitals by dipping a nichrome wire into strontium, nickel, copper, et al.
- Gas bag. Observe the reaction of vinegar + baking soda in a zip-loc bag.
Tomorrow we’re going to mix up supersaturated solutions of sugar and coloring. Hopefully it will crystallize onto a stick over the weekend. The most noticeable aspect of preparing for this Rock Candy Lab is that for my four classes and Noam’s four classes we need to bring in 4 x 5 lb sacks of sugar! I am adapting some of the Rock CandyLab from the site The Accidental Scientist - Science of Cooking
Here are some pictures from the day we made paper:
1. Before making paper we looked at paper under the microscope to see what it really is -- a mat of fibers, like felt.
2. We started by pulping the fibers. If you look closely you will seeone of the easier recipes we did that day: 100% banana peel.
3. The pulped fibers are made into a slurry and then captured on a screen.
4. Ironing speeds up the drying of the sheet.
5. We left the damp sheets on scrap paper. The two melded and made it easier to hang up the fragile paper sheets.
6. This was made by pulping a shirt sleeve from the school uniform. We acid digested it. The coarse visible fibers are remnants of the part of the shirt that is polyester.
7. This was a messier than average lab day!