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For this chemical change demonstration, we look at the oxidation reaction that occurs as steel wool burns. Unlike substances like paper and wood that lose mass as they burn; steel wool oxidizes, adding oxygen atoms to the iron and increasing mass. Watch until the end for burning steel wool at night!
In this lesson we look at the physical property of solubility - the ability of a substance (or solute) to dissolve in a liquid (or solvent). We dissolve salt in water, but by boiling the water we are able to recover the dissolved salt as a solid again.
Chemical changes occur when a chemical reaction causes a new substance to be formed from an existing substance. In this demonstration of thermite, a chemical change called oxidation causes oxygen atoms in the iron oxide to bond with aluminum atoms to form aluminum oxide and iron.
As part of their 4th grade energy project, students use ammonium dichromate to demonstrate the ability of chemical energy to create chemical change. As it burns ammonium dichromate decomposes into chromium oxide, water vapor, and nitrogen gas while also providing an excellent demonstration of a volcanic eruption.
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