Fun Chemistry Experiments for High Schools

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Chemistry experiments can be fun and educational. Many experiments can produce interesting, colorful, or strange reactions that pique student interest.Remember, although these experiments can be fun, students must always adhere to safety procedure. Here are a few fun experiments that can be employed in the high school chemistry classroom.

Dancing Spaghetti

You will need a large beaker, a 100 mL graduated cylinder, vinegar, baking soda, water and broken spaghetti. Fill the beaker with water, leaving enough room for baking soda and vinegar. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the water and mix thoroughly. Put eight to ten pieces of broken spaghetti in the beaker and wait until the spaghetti settles to the bottom. Measure and pour 100 mL of vinegar into the beaker. A chemical reaction will take place, causing the spaghetti to move in the beaker. Repeat experiment with different ratios of water, vinegar, and baking soda. Explain what gas forms when the reaction takes place. What causes the spaghetti to float? What causes the spaghetti to sink? Explain if there are other reactions that could cause a similar result.

Mystical Cloud

You will need rubber gloves, eye protection, a graduated cylinder, an opaque bottle, a rubber stopper or bottle cap, a tea bag, 30% hydrogen peroxide, and potassium chloride. Put on your rubber gloves and safety goggles before you start the experiment. Pour 50 mL of 30% hydrogen peroxide into the opaque bottle and cap the bottle. Carefully open the tea bag and remove the tea leaves. Put one-quarter tbsp.of potassium iodide to the tea bag and tie closed leaving enough string to overlap the lip of the bottle. When you are ready, open the bottle and slowly lower the tea bag into the hydrogen peroxide using the string. Point the mouth of the bottle in a safe direction. An exothermic reaction will take place and release oxygen. A large cloud will form and come out of the mouth of the bottle. Explain what reaction took place and how the oxygen was released.


About the Author

Corina Fiore is a writer and photographer living in suburban Philadelphia. She earned a B.S.Ed. in Earth-Space Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Fiore taught high school science for 7 years and offered several teacher workshops to regarding education techniques. She worked as a staff writer for science texts and has been published in Praxis review materials for beginning teachers.