Thursday, 18 September 2008

Chemistry On Our Own

After researching a few different options for science this summer (which didn't really fit in our budget), I finally decided to put our own together. We wanted to cover chemistry this year. I searched my bookshelves for a spine that I could use and found an Usborne book called Mixtures and Compounds to start us off. As we read each chapter, we can visit the Internet links suggested and also add some more reading with library books. A few experiments are listed. We have already covered a chapter on mixtures, learning about what is a mixture, what is in it, the different types of mixtures and mixing liquids. A simple experiment illustrates mixing...just mixing sugar with warm water and observing what happened! The next chapter introduced us to separating mixtures. Decantation, filtration, chromatography, evaporation, distillation, and centrifuging were explained. We did a simple experiment using chromatography to separate the different coloured chemicals that made up inks (see our photos below).

This week, we have been talking about the air. We started learning about different gases that are in the air, air quality, the nitrogen cycle, and even a bit about gases that pollute, acid rain and the greenhouse effect. An experiment is sitting on our window sill right now. We took a piece of concrete, put it in a big glass, and added vinegar to cover it. We are supposed to leave that for a couple of days and see how acids affect building materials.

Fairy has been making her own list of chemical elements and their codes as we come across new ones. We have been watching videos from the University of Nottimgham, try this great link : The Periodic Table of Videos. Below you can watch the one on helium.

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