Chemical Reactions

Testing dishes for the presence of lead (and how to detect gunshot residue)

Uses for lead Lead metal is easy to work with and resists corrosion which makes it a desirable metal for many purposes. However, lead is also very dangerous to your health. Lead is used to create glass-like finish on walls, toys, or dishes. It also acts as a sealer to prevent moisture from damaging surfaces. These properties make it excellent for paint and coatings for walls and dishes. However, breathing in lead-based paint particles from the paint causes lead poisoning. Lead poisoning Lead poisoning occurs when lead enters the bloodstream and binds to enzymes in our body causing the enzymes to lose their critical functionality – everything from digestion to neural processing is impacted by lead poisoning. People suffering from lead poisoning may experience seizures and vomiting as their

Make a Christmas-time glitter globe (aka snow globe)

In this science experiment we will mix molecules to make a glitter globe (i.e. a "snow globe"). We will combine rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, and a few other tiny, shiny things to make a cool science toy. How to make a glitter globe Fill a clear plastic or glass bottle 1/4 full of rubbing alcohol. Add one drop of food coloring if you want to give the liquid mix some color (and make it easier to differentiate the alcohol layer from the layer of oil that we will add next).Note: if you want to use your snow globe for decorative purposes, skip the food coloring altogether. Fill the remainder of the bottle with baby or vegetable oil (the oil will sit on top of the alcohol).  Leave a

Starting a fire with water experiment

Starting a fire with water NOTE: THIS EXPERIMENT IS HIGHLY HAZARDOUS AND CAN RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE CONDUCTED BY CHILDREN BUT RATHER, SHOULD BE CONDUCTED BY SICENCE TEACHERS ONLY! Zinc does not occur freely in nature but does exist in the ores of other metals. Zinc was widely used centuries before people knew what it really was. For instance, Romans use to smelt copper ores that contained zinc and were making weapons out of brass without even knowing it. Zinc is one of the most used metals on the planet. Iron and steel pipes are dipped in molten zinc to produce a coating that protects the metals against corrosion – it’s called galvanizing. Brass is 30 percent zinc and 70 percent

Oil and water don’t mix

Immiscible liquids, like oil and water, don't mix After a rainstorm have you ever noticed puddles in the road with glossy-looking oil floating on top? Ever noticed the oil spots that sometimes form in your chicken-noodle soup? Ever notice how Reeko occasionally writes 'lead ins' to the experiments that have absolutely nothing at all to do with the experiment? Why does the oil float on the water rather than mixing with it? This experiment will take some of the mystery out of this phenomenon. Take a jar of water and put a drop of food coloring in it (Reeko prefers blue ). Now pour in some vegetable oil. Next stir or shake the jar. Do the oil and water mix? Finally, take another jar of colored water. Pour some rubbing alcohol

Making water split

Making water split As we know, water is actually made of hydrogen and oxygen molecules tightly bound together to form that liquidy goodness we so love to spray on each other. So if it’s made of oxygen, why can’t we breathe it? Actually, we could breathe it IF we could separate the oxygen out from the hydrogen. Fact is, we can’t. If we tried to breathe water we’d instead get the liquidy stuff which of course, our lungs cannot absorb.  If you tend to forget this when swimming, here's a simple poem to help you remember: The fact is, we cannot lie, if you breathe water, you will die. Still, they use their gills to separate the oxygen from the hydrogen. For fish, this really is a

Making homemade plastic science experiment

[sc:commonscripts] Making homemade plastic Yep, we're surrounded by plastic.  Sit right there and look around the room and see if you can spot something made of plastic.  See, I told you so. The keys on your keyboard are made of plastic.  The mouse you've got your hand resting on is made of plastic.   Even parts of the monitor you're looking at right now is made of plastic (yikes... Reeko,  I don't know how you know all these things but stop it - it's giving me the creeps). These plastics can be either natural plastics which are made of materials such as wax or natural rubber, or they can be synthetic plastics which are made from polyethylene or nylon.  Most plastic is made of petroleum oil.  The type of

Magic balloon egg

Magical fun with eggs If you're the type of person who finds yourself shouting, "I want patience.... and I want it NOW" then this experiment might not be for you. It'll take 10 days to see the results of our experiment but when all is said and done, we'll have one of the weirdest eggs you've ever seen. Magicians have created eggs like the one we're about to make, for many years. As early as 1900, magicians created these "magic eggs" and used them as props in a variety of magic tricks. Imagine if you could remove the "hardness" from an egg shell giving you an egg that could be folded like a napkin or blown up like a balloon? The egg could be folded to make

Look out, she’s gonna blow!

The infamous baking soda volcano experiment Now we're going to get a little messy. In this experiment we build a real working volcano. After mixing just the right amount of ingredients together, we'll add the final item to make our volcano 'blow its top' spewing red lava down the sides.  Yes, this is the famous “Baking Soda Volcano” experiment - found exclusively at Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab (and on the websites of the millions of Reeko’s minion slaves). First we need to create the 'salt dough'. Mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil, and 2 cups of water in a large bowl. Work the ingredients with your hands until smooth and firm. Add more water to the mixture if needed. Stand the soda bottle

Happy, dancing raisins

Carbonated water makes for happy, dancing raisins Remember the dancing raisins commercial on TV? No? Well it doesn't matter anyway, they have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this science experiment. Now, let's make some raisins boogie! Fill a glass or bottle half full of carbonated water. Drop three or four raisins into the carbonated water. Wait around for the show to begin... What happens? Can you guess why the raisins bob to the surface? Carbonated water contains dissolved carbon dioxide gas. This gas will collect on the uneven surfaces on the raisins. When enough gas has collected, it will actually lift the raisins to the surface (kind of like little tiny parachutes) where the gas is then released into the air. With the gas now gone, the raisins will

Elephant Toothpaste

Help an elephant with those 9-pound molars So you don’t want to be a kid and instead want to be an elephant because Reeko said elephants never have to brush their teeth? Well Reeko has news for you – there’s a lot more differences between kids and elephants than just their teeth. If you don’t believe that, try picking one up. Imagine being an elephant and always loosing at hide and seek. Even when dressed in yellow and disguised as a banana they are easy to find in a crowd. They are large, gray, and wrinkly. And when they do brush their teeth – well, those are 9 pound molars they have to deal with. Now that we have your elephant yearnings out of the way,