Chemical Reactions





Name of Activity Chemical Reactions
Author Amanda Rock and Daniella DiPaola
Keywords chemical reactions, chemistry, chemical engineering, baking soda, vinegar, observations, experiment, recording data
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students perform an experiment mixing together unidentified materials to find which ones create a chemical reaction.
Lesson Objectives: Introduction to Chemical Engineering and chemical reactions. Teach students about the importance of making good observations and recording data.
Materials Needed: -Small measuring cups:
-baking soda
-flour, cornstarch, other white solid materials
-water, tea, other liquids
-eye droppers
Preparation and Set Up: Make a worksheet with a table for the students to fill out for each combination of solid and liquid.
We pre-measured the materials into the small cups to save time but the students could do it if you have enough time. We finished the class in less than an hour when we measured them out. We used 1 Tsp of material in each cup.
Procedure 1. Number the bottom of the cups (same number for same material) so the students can tell them apart for their data because you do not tell them what the materials are, they guess at the end. 2. Measure out 1 Tsp of each material into the cups, unless you want the students to do their own measuring, then you can just give them each a larger cup with the material in it. 3. Introduce the students to Chemical Engineering, experiments, safe lab practices (no tasting), what makes a good observation, how to record accurate data. 4. Explain to the students that they want to combine each solid with each liquid only once per combination. They should make their observations of the materials before and after they combine them. Make sure they record the numbers on the bottom of each cup. 5. Pass out worksheets with blank table and materials. If you are letting the students make the measurements explain to them that there is measurements on the cups and they can use the spoon for the solid materials and the eyedropper for the liquids. 6. Let students  combine materials and fill out the table. 7. Do a wrap up about what they observed and what they think the materials were. 8. We did a demonstration of combining a lot of baking soda and vinegar so the kids could see a big reaction.  I suggest doing this over a bucket so the reaction can flow out of the cup that the baking soda is in when you pour the vinegar in.
Extensions: Do a demonstration at the end with a lot of baking soda and vinegar.
If you have the chance to go outside you could do a diet coke and mentos demonstration.
Or show youtube videos of diet coke and mentos.
Modifications: Measure out the materials ahead of time or let the students measure them out depending on how much time you have during class.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Introduction to Engineering



Name of Activity Flubber
Author Laura Fradin
Keywords goo, fun, chemical engineering, borax, glue
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description This will take less than an hour, but is a fun way to introduce chemical engineering by making goo that the kids can take home.
Lesson Objectives: -introduce students to the concept of chemical engineering
-explore how different ratios of chemicals/ingredients produce different results
Materials Needed: -water
-elmer’s glue
-food coloring (optional)
Preparation and Set Up: Have 2 different containers for mixing the ingredients.
Necessary Background None
Procedure How Flubber is actually made: 1) Mix 3/4 cup of the water with 1 cup glue in a bowl. Stir this mixture until it is thoroughly mixed together. Set it aside. 2) Mix 2 tablespoons of Borax with a 1/2 cup of water in a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly until all of the Borax is dissolved. 3) Combine the two mixtures. Stir them together. Add several drops of food coloring until the mixture is the color you want it to be. 4)Continue stirring until it is one mass of goo. See extensions to see how this activity can be more independent for students and take a full class period.
Extensions: This activity can be done as a demonstration in front of the whole class, allowing students to come do different parts of the reaction/procedure.

However, this activity can be done by giving the students a certain amount of each material and have them work in pairs to try and create something that is the consistency of flubber. This will take almost a whole class period! Each group should have a different mixture and they can learn the effects of using various proportions/ratios of each ingredient. After each group has experimented and they have discussed what happened when they mixed various proportions, you can make flubber as a whole class using the procedure outlines above.

Making Ice Cream





Name of Activity Making Ice Cream
Author STOMP
Keywords ice cream, make, chemical engineering, chemistry, chemical reaction, molecules, 1 Hour Total, 4-6
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description In this lesson, students make ice cream while learning about chemical engineering.
Lesson Objectives: Learn a little bit about chemistry and chemical engineering.
Watch a chemical reaction in action.
Materials Needed: For a class of about 20 students:

20 quart sized zip-lock bags
20 gallon sized zip-lock bags
2 large bags of ice
5 cups of salt.

For each group put the following ingredients into one zip-lock bag. When the bag is full place doubled-up the zip-locked bag with another bag to be sure that the ice cream does not leak out.

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla or vanilla flavoring

Students will want to eat the ice cream so you should have a cup and a spoon for each students

20 spoons
20 cups/bowls

You can also use the worksheet and PowerPoint attached to explain the science behind making ice cream.

Preparation and Set Up: This lesson has the potential to be very messy, so it is really helpful if you
think out how you are going to organize it before hand.
Break students into groups of two
Give each group an ice cream bag.
Give each group 2 gallon sized zip-lock bags
Give each group a worksheet
Set up the PowerPoint
Necessary Background Chemical engineers use chemistry to solve problems. Chemical engineers create many
of the substances we used today, such as cleaning products, explosives, and even
toys (silly putty!). Chemical reactions are the tools that chemical engineers use.

Chemistry is also used in the production of many food products. The action of
bread rising is actually a chemical reaction. In ice cream, you use the chemical
interaction between water and salt to freeze the cream.

To make ice cream you must make the ice cream mixture of cream, milk and sugar
lower than 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C. This can be done by surrounding the ice
cream in a solution of water and ice that is lower that 32 degrees.

When salt is dissolved in water, the salt crystals break into smaller pieces. These small
pieces, or atoms get in the way of water molecules that are trying to stick together to
form a solid (ice). When the temperature of water is 32 degrees water molecules are
able to slow down enough to form a solid. When salt is added, the salt molecules get
in the way of the water forming a solid, so it must be even colder for all the molecules
to slow down enough to freeze. This is why salt lowers the freezing point of water.
This means that the ice will thaw at a temperature lower than 32 degrees in the
mixture around the ice cream.

Chemical engineering

  1. Show the students a PowerPoint or explain what chemical engineering is.
  2. Also explain the chemistry behind mixing salt and ice. What happens to the temperature of the solution even though it is liquid (it is colder than 32 degrees).
  3. If you can, it would be good to have a thermometer available to measure the temperature of ice/salt/water.
  4. Have the students fill out a worksheet.
  5. Now it is time to make ice cream.
    1. Have the students place the ice cream mixture bag inside one of the gallon sized bags.
    2. Place about 2 cups of ice (or more) into each gallon sized bag.
    3. Add 1/2 cup of salt to each groups gallon sized bag.
    4. Seal the bag.
    5. Place the gallon sized bag into a second gallon sized bag and seal that bag as well.
    6. Have the students hold the bags upright as they shake the bag.
      1. The ice should melt and get very cold because of the salt.
    7. Students should shake their bags for about 10 -20 minutes. Long enough for the ice to begin to melt, but not long enough that the water starts to warm up.
  6. When the students have finished shaking, have them empty their salt/water mixture into a sink. Have a teacher divide each bag of ice cream and let the students try their homemade dessert.
Extensions: Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the ice and water as the
experiment continues.
Reference 1
Reference 2

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