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The Reversible Tin Man Oxidation–Reduction Chemical Demonstration Kit focuses on oxidation–reduction and shows students the components of an electrolytic cell. Students watch tin crystals grow across a Petri dish and then quickly “reverse.”

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Grow a beautiful “tin-man” crystal tree using this electrifying demonstration! This quick and simple demonstration will teach oxidation–reduction principles and show students the components of a simple electrolytic cell. Students will enjoy watching tin crystals grow before their very eyes across a Petri dish and then quickly “reverse” as the cathode and anode are switched. A true crowd-pleaser! Teacher Demonstration Notes and reproducible student worksheets are included.

Concepts: Electrolysis, oxidation–reduction, anode, cathode.
Time Required: 15 minutes


Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-PS1-5. Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
HS-PS1-1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
HS-PS1-7. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.