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Chemical Magic    Mystery 1

M1

Could you transform something worthless into gold?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 7)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 7)

DISCUSS:

1) What is it called when metal changes appearance like this?

2) What do you think caused this?

Rust image

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 7)
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Beginning Exploration (4 of 7)

DISCUSS:

If you had four different liquids to test, how would you experiment with them?

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Activity Prep

Supplies you'll need for Part 1 ("Test like an Alchemist")

  • 4 plastic food storage containers, like these
  • labels for the containers
  • tape
  • liquid detergent (just a teaspoonful)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar (We suggest you get a quart since you’ll need it for future mysteries.)
  • salt (just a spoonful, but you’ll need more in future mysteries)
  • handout (Test like an Alchemist ) for each group of testers
  • 1 penny per student (or if you have only 1 student, you need at least 4 pennies)

This makes one set of test stations, enough for up to 24 students. For larger classes, we suggest you make two sets of stations, so you’ll need to double the first 6 supplies in the list.

Supplies you'll need for Part 2 ("The King's Sword")--Optional

  • more pennies so that you have at least 40 pennies altogether
  • a plastic spoon
  • 1 steel screw or nail and 1 steel washer (DON’T use stainless steel or galvanized steel. Just plain steel is what you need.)
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • a place to leave your experiment for a few hours or overnight

What you'll need to do before class

Label your containers. Then prepare the testing liquids by mixing the following liquids and putting them in the labeled containers:

  • soap and water (1 tsp of liquid detergent mixed with ½ cup of water)
  • vinegar (½ cup)
  • salty vinegar (2 tsp salt mixed with ½ cup vinegar)
  • salt and water (1 tsp salt mixed with ½ cup water)
Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Exploration (5 of 7)
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Beginning Exploration (6 of 7)

Take your pennies out of the salt & vinegar solution, then

DISCUSS:

  1. Do you see any changes in the pennies?
  2. Do you see any changes in the liquid?
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Beginning Exploration (7 of 7)

ACTIVITY PART 2
(OPTIONAL, BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Now that you have the alchemist’s solution in front of you, you can put steel in the solution, just like the king did, and wait overnight to see the same results!

Advance to the next slide to begin this activity. It will take about 20 minutes to set up and discuss. Then you can come back tomorrow to see the results. Or, if you don’t have time to wait overnight, you can see our results when you get to Step 7.

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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Beginning Activity: Part 1: Test Like an Alchemist, Part 2: The King's Sword
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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.
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Readings

These readings on ReadWorks & GetEpic are free for teachers with registration.

The Penny Experiment is a story about a girl who learns why copper changes color. (grade 6, includes comprehension questions)

Why is the Statue of Liberty Green?, a picture book for younger readers (ages 5-7), is such a good story that older students will enjoy it too.

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Exploration
Lady Liberty half dollar (silver) by Brandon Grossardt
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