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firewatch

When three substances—solid calcium chloride, solid sodium bicarbonate, and a solution of phenol red in water—are mixed in a closed container, a complex series of changes is observed. Observations include temperature changes, color changes, and changes in state. What individual interactions are responsible for each observation? In this fun and easy activity, students not only hold an experiment in their hands to see and feel what chemistry is all about, they also practice the key skills that are the backbone of the scientific method. Students: (1) observe phenomena and ask questions, (2) design experiments to answer their questions, (3) collect data, and (4) analyze and summarize the results.

Concepts

  • Scientific Method
  • Observations
  • Experiment
  • Chemical Change
  • Physical Change