Last week we went to the fourth “It’s Atomic” workshop.
We completed the first three workshops last January (you have to do them in sequence)
so we jumped when we saw a fourth one offered.
Each workshop is taught by Ian Stuart, a former highschool Science teacher
(You can experience some of his teaching on his youtube channel)
and I highly recommend these workshops.
Each workshop has a balance of teaching, hands on experience and pen and paper output.
This fourth workshop was about chemical bonds and equations and was probably our favourite workshop of the four.
For their experiment the children were given a piece of magnesium to place in acetic acid in order to make and capture a small amount of hydrogen.
Then their hydrogen gas was ignited to produce a squeaky pop.
This is a common test for hydrogen gas.
Just like school, the children completed a worksheet to record their learning.
These are simple and easily completed and aren’t daunting at all.
During this workshop, the children learned about the various signs of chemical reactions.
One of their favourite ‘signs’ was the colour change
as a solution was converted to and from an acid and base.
The children also learned about exothermic and endothermic reactions.
Toward the end of the workshop, the children watched several demonstrations.
First Mr Stuart ignited a piece of magnesium to demonstrate the resulting luminous reaction.
This is the same reaction that was used in early flash photography.
Finally, Mr Stuart demonstrated a hydrogen oxygen reaction.
This was most definitely the highlight of the workshop.
The video doesn’t even come close to representing the actual volume of this explosion.
We thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and learned a bunch at the same time.
We’re hopeful there will be more workshops.
It would be nice to see some for the older age group.