Our IB Grade 11 Chemistry class recently held an interactive lesson for the 4th Grade at SISS Primary. We were all excited to be doing another experimental lesson after our successful Christmas Show in December. Our teacher, Ms Schmöckel came up with a fun title for our show; "What do we do with CO2?". For the first part of our show we assisted the Year 4 students with a challenging but fun experiment, using water, calcium tablets, an indicator, and fire.
The kids would fill a test tube with carbon dioxide, using the calcium tablets, and then perform two experiments with the collected
CO2. Of course, in order to keep the children interested, we did not tell them what exactly which chemicals we were using in our experiments! Instead, we let the pairs decide which role each person would play, with one person playing the ‘magician’, and the other being a ‘fireman/woman’. The magicians would use a few drops of a ‘magic liquid’ in their experiments, which turned an alkaline liquid pink. This pink mixture would then turn colourless when mixed with the carbon dioxide in the test tubes. The firemen/women also had a special job; they could quickly extinguish a flame, by putting it into the carbon dioxide. Their independant experiments were all successful, and after cleaning up their stations, we were able to perform some of our best experiments form the Christmas Show. This involved coloured flames, exploding balloons and even fire-spitting, but the highlight of the show was definitely the ‘gummy bear death’ experiment! We allowed them to vote which colour gummy bear we would ‘sacrifice’ for the experiment. We burned the gummy bear along with other compounds to create an intense, colourful flame. Class 4A was hesitating between the white or red gummy bear, but ended up choosing red. When we demonstrated the same experiment for 4B, we were all surprised that they all voted for the white gummy. Later, we found out that the kids from the first class convinced them to choose that gummy
bear, so they could find out if the flame would have a different colour.
On the whole, our show was a success, and we hope the Year 4 students enjoyed the lesson just as much as we did! We also got lot of positive feedback from the kids themselves, who wrote personalised thank you notes to our class.
It seems that the gummy bear experiment left a very strong imprint on the Year 4 students, as many of the feedback letters said that what they liked the most was the gummy bear experiment, but that it ‘would have been cooler to see all of the gummy bear colours.’ A lot of them were also very curious as to the exact chemistry behind their experiments and said that they ‘would have liked some more detail about how the experiments worked,’ and to have been able to have longer experiments. We would like to thank 4A and 4B for visiting us. and being such an attentive and enthusiastic
The text was written by Ada Topcu und Chila Badibanga.