Custard rockets: Indoor rockets utilising plastic pipettes (travel about 8 m)

Custard rockets: Indoor rockets utilising plastic pipettes (travel about 8 m)

Fun Activity involving the use of mini-rockets (plastic Pasteur pipettes ( 3 mL) with various fuel mixtures and ejector liquids. Fuels trialed Hydrogen / Oxygen and Methane (natural gas) / oxygen mixtures. Ejector fluids Baby oil .. a bit messy but easy to use and thick custard (starch) 50% m/v with water. The custard mix gives the best results. Loads as a liquid and ejects as a solid (non-Newtonian dilatant behaviour) giving a better partitioning of the energy between the projectile and ejector fluid (mass). The activity can be run as an open ended exploration with older students or a fun demonstration/activity with younger students ( year 9 +). it is a very good use for the hydrogen and Oxygen generated from an Hoffman voltameter reinforcing the fact that a lot of energy is required to break down water. This has been used as an exciting demonstration on open days and with groups of scouts etc. Included is an editable instruction booklet, (A5 d/s) and introductory power point slide show which could be modified to suit requirements along with an example risk assessment foe an open ended year 12 practical 1.5-2hr . In addition there is a video link (QR code to a video outlining the activity produced by year 10 work experience students ca 2012 when I worked at Reading University.
John1917
Some practical chemistry posters

Some practical chemistry posters

These posters produced with aid of work experience students Yr10-12 when I worked at Reading University 2005-13, They are still available on their website, in the chemistry outreach section, covering a range of activities and levels.... plus some look pretty.
John1917
Some resources for Infra red spectroscopy at AS/A2

Some resources for Infra red spectroscopy at AS/A2

An annotated correlation chart: two forms available, a simplified version, useful as an aid on introducing the subject and an annotated version where the shape and position of absorbances are related to structural features. The latter is a bit text heavy but could be printed A3 or handed out as a reference source. A PowerPoint for a small group exercise, where spectra are predicted for the series of molecules cyclohexane, cyclohexanone and cyclohexanol. These molecule give spectra with increasing complexity which can be related to structural features, types of bonds and symmetry. Included in this PowerPoint are some applications of IR spectra not related to organic chemistry, from Forensic and medicinal research. As an added bonus a demonstration aid around the use of an ATR sample attachment is also included, as this tends to be the method of choice in Undergraduate laboratories and schemes such as the RSC SIAS . and may not appear in some text books.
John1917
Practical exercise in nano-technology. Magnetite and gold nanoparticle synthesis and investigation

Practical exercise in nano-technology. Magnetite and gold nanoparticle synthesis and investigation

A power point with associated notes detailing the synthesis of magnetite and gold nanoparticles. The size and optical properties of the gold nanoparticles are investigated and the synthesised magnetite samples are surface treated to make them either oil and water soluble. This is a directed practical for teams of three with small group demonstrator led evaluation of the properties of the prepared nanoparticles. The slides are editable and should prove a suitable resource for introducing nanotechnology. Areas highlighted are surface area/ volume(mass) ratio, optical properties and the unusual magnetic properties of magnetite nanoparticles. I have included a couple of links to YouTube videos (Morpho butterfly physical colour and geckos sticky feet which help reinforce these points. This is an on-going project and will be updated as activities are developed.
John1917
Iodine Clock reaction 'Can You equal the 800m World record.

Iodine Clock reaction 'Can You equal the 800m World record.

This is a fun clock reaction themed around the Olympics suitable for years 9-12 with some serious practical and analytical science skills hidden away. It involves setting up a clock reaction to target a specific time of of 1'40''.91 seconds Rudisha's 800m World record set at the 2012 London Olympics. It involves low hazard dilute reagents, potassium iodate [0.01M] and acidified sodium bisulfite [0.01M in 0.01M sulfuric acid]. Timings can run from 45-90 min depending on familiarity with burettes. These burettes are used a s measuring devices to deliver accurate volumes of the reagents and it is a good test of familiarity and accuracy in there use. The participants work in teams of three to trial test systems and obtain times for different compositions. They plot the times as they go along and using the plot (interpolation of a curve) identify an ideal composition to give them the target time. Then using this composition produce a larger scale reaction system to compete in a final, where all competitors start at the same time and see how close they can get to the target. Included some editable practical worksheets, and a results sheet. In addition some notes on solution preparation, labels and an example COSHH /RA
John1917
Get a Gold Medal with Chemistry.

Get a Gold Medal with Chemistry.

Demonstration / activity Just a topical take on the copper to gold coin standard demo. It enables pupils to generate a gold medal, The standard RSC demo has been slightly modified to incorporate a Heat gun as the heating source. Included is a QR code to a video to supplement the instruction sheets and outline the activity.
John1917
Alka-Seltzer titration exercise:  pH titration exhibiting buffering, and ppt. of Aspirin at pH < 2

Alka-Seltzer titration exercise: pH titration exhibiting buffering, and ppt. of Aspirin at pH < 2

The Power point includes a video of an old Aspro Clear advert, which implies that soluble Aspirin is more effective than ordinary aspirin tablets due to it dissolving in the glass. I get participants to criticise this statement at the end of the titration. This is an exercise that enables students to 'discover' buffering after initially trying to predict the form of the titration curve. after calculating the relative amounts of acidic and basic components in a single tablet. Alka-Seltzer tablets contain citric acid (a tricarboxcylic acid). The pKa of these acids give a relatively linear pH titration curve, with overlapping buffering regions from pH 6 - 2). The presence of aspirin in the tablet, leads to the precipitation of the aspirin at the end of the titration (pH &lt; 2, 22-23 mL 1 M HCl) This aspirin could be further utilised in additional experiments via rapid isolation by vacuum filtration (Buchner) from the Alka-Seltzer solution at the end of the titration. We use this as a convenient source of relatively pure aspirin ( ca 100-150 mg &gt; 98% for subsequent analysis by NMR HPLC. The citric acid remains in solution along with a proportion of the original aspirin and Salicylic acid. The Salicylic acid being derived fro hydrolysis of the aspirin at the low pH encountered in this titration. Hence the need for rapid aspirin isolation from the low pH solution present at the end if the titration.
John1917
fingerprint activity: dusting and superglue visualisation 16+

fingerprint activity: dusting and superglue visualisation 16+

This is an activity looking at the chemistry behind fingerprint visualization. Using commercial fingerprint powders and superglue. The superglue reaction is presented as a polymerisation reaction in terms of initiation propagation and termination. basically polymer chemistry under the disguise of CSI. This superglue reaction could form the basis of an interesting extended project .
John1917