Try these ideas for chemical "egg race" competitions that engage students and motivate them to follow a scientific or technical career
These resources have been taken from the book In search of more solutions. Aimed at those following post-16 chemistry courses, the book encourages students to design their own experiments in relation to the tasks set, and as they overcome the obstacles within the tasks, their inventiveness and enthusiasm flourishes.
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Design a chemical stop-clock using different dilutions of two colourless solutions which, when mixed together will remain colourless for a period of time and then suddenly change to a deep blue colour.
Design and make a boat propelled by the reaction between 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (sodium hydrogencarbonate) and 3 teaspoons of citric acid.
Produce a design and create a proto-type of a self-heating can of food.
Investigate the structure of sulphur compounds to suggest an explanation for the observed transient red colour in the reaction between sulphur dioxide and an aqueous solution of iron (III) ions.
Work out how to remove a cube of ice from a glass of water using string and dinner table items.
From the information given, determine which company has ordered which chemical, which process is involved, and on what week day are they to be delivered.
Determine whether a table-top sweetener contains aspartame.
Identify the most effective method of blanching sprouts.
Devise a method of reducing the temperature of water to 6.5 °C using citric acid and bicarbonate of soda.
Design and make a rechargeable handwarmer which, when it is needed, can be set off to provide a steady supply of heat at a comfortable temperature
Design and carry out an experiment to measure the rate at which tin reacts with iodine.
Determine why a drink froths less if you leave the can to stand after shaking it.
Find out what you can about the dimensions of a molecule of olive oil by making calculations using the information contained in the historical account of Franklin’s teaspoon of oil experiment
Find out which enzymes – rennet, genetically engineered chymosin or a fungal enzyme – is the best for coagulating milk to make curds and whey.
Construct apparatus to measure the molar volume of hydrogen produced from the reaction of magnesium with vinegar.
In Search of More Solutions provides material for chemical “egg race” competitions that help to put the fun back into chemistry, and gives students that “little bit extra” to motivate them to follow a scientific or technical career.
Make some cellulose fibres that will lift an egg.
Design an experiment to measure the rate at which ice freezes (or melts) ands use the findings to investigate how ponds freeze.
Determine whether hot or cold water freezes first.
Design and make a device to move the heaviest possible object at least 10 cm on a flat surface.
Design and make a device to move an Oxo cube as fast as possible over a 1 m flat surface.
Identify chemical reactions by using a solution of copper(II) sulfate and an unknown solution.
Determine whether the sample of dust originates from a living source or a non-living source and design a test for the dust sample that exploits a physical property of organic molecules from living sources, using only the equipment provided.
Design a piece of apparatus to allow you to obtain a sample of the gas without removing the gas jar from the water and demonstrate that the gas is carbon dioxide.
Find out as much as you can about what is going on when a candle burns in an enclosed space.
Use chemical and physical experiences the three dimensional world to determine appropriate information for the fictional two-dimensional Flatland.
An experiment to determine how the vitamin C content of cabbage varies with the method of cooking.
Examine the reaction of calcium metal with water from both a theoretical and a practical viewpoint.
Identify three different alcohols which each have the formula C4H10O using standard laboratory tests.
Devise an analytical method to compare the amount of sulphur dioxide present in the samples of wine provided.
Determine the tannin concentration in the samples of wine and investigate the differences between red and white wine.
Design a warning device that will give out a signal when activated. The device must be powered by the chemical reaction between 3 level teaspoons of citric acid and 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
Measure the optical rotation of honey and use this data to determine which optically active sugar is present in the highest concentration.
Investigate the smallest amount of substance provided that can be smelt.
Investigate what happens when one or more candles are placed inside a gas jar.
In the beaker are test-tubes containing different gases - carbon dioxide, dinitrogen oxide, oxygen, chlorine and hydrogen. You may remove a test-tube only once and when you do so you must identify the gas immediately.
Using laboratory tests identify sodium sulphate, sodium sulphite, sodium thiosulphate, sodium metabisulphite and sodium persulphate.