This week we continue our study of Chemistry in Main Lesson class. The students learned about chemical reactions and physical and chemical changes in matter. The reactions they learned about are: combination, decomposition, and combustion. Since rust is an example of a combination reaction where iron and oxygen combine to form a new molecule, they did a rust experiment. The students added small balls of fine steel wool into cups of water, salt water, vinegar, tea, and air. They were asked what environmental conditions they think are needed for iron to rust. speculations were made as to what would rust and why or why not. Then results were recorded in the lesson books. The students determined that water is needed as a catalyst to cause the reaction that creates rust.
The second experiment, elephant toothpaste, was an example of a decomposition reaction because the hydrogen and oxygen molecules that make hydrogen peroxide break apart. To demonstrate combustion, the students created a black fire snake (or snakes) by setting powdered sugar and baking soda on fire. This was really cool! It sure was a fun week!