Regis eighth-grade students are diving into chemistry this semester with engaging group experiments in the science lab. In late September, Ms. Elizabeth Phillips, Middle School Science Teacher, led students through an experiment to determine the properties of four different "unknown" liquids in order to identify them. The eighth-grade students determined which liquids they were working with after researching each liquid's properties.
"It was more interactive. I liked the mystery aspect of it," stated eighth grade student Christoph Lindhorst.
"It was fun testing the properties of different liquids and figuring out which one was which," said eighth grade student Austin Burke. "I'm excited for [science] to get more complicated."
For this experiment, students tested properties such as melting point, odor, solubility, and flammability. This was eighth grade's second time working with fire in the laboratory. To no one's surprise, students enjoyed the flammability test the most. "Before it was just lighting a candle," stated Ms. Phillips, "which is different than dipping [a paper] into a mystery liquid not knowing what is going to happen then setting it on fire."
"There was 100% engagement on this lab," continued Ms. Phillips. "The [boys] did a really great job paying attention, [and] they did what they were supposed to do with their safety rules."
The eighth-grade students determined the four liquids were water, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol with rubbing alcohol being the most flammable. "Chemistry always lends itself really well to lab experiments," continued Ms. Phillips. This experiment demonstrated methods to research both physical and chemical properties and ties into future work in her science class. Eighth grade's next unit focuses on chemical reactions. "This experiment helped students gain the knowledge that they need of chemical and physical properties so that they can then apply them to future lessons," continued Ms. Phillips.