Interest in Chemistrykidsstudentsreactionelementssodiumphosphorousmethanegreen Flamesharry

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One of the best ways to get kids interested in chemistry is through some practical demonstrations, such as making colored soap bubbles,green flames etc. Show them,that every day objects which we all use, from bread to blankets,from shoes to school bags are all chemical derivatives of basic elements.Lecturing and telling wont do much help though,demonstration is required.It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.Similarly we can say a demonstration is worth a hundred lectures..Take them to a small factory if required,so that they can see transformation of some raw material to an end product and how chemistry plays its part in that process.

Some of the following demonstations can help in the generation of kids'interest in chemistry

You can show off how green flames come up with a small experiment. You need some quantities of methanol and boric acid. Fill a flask with this stuff. Drop a match in it and show the kids as green flames come off. Tell this could be the secret behind Harry Potter story's green flames. Some of the youngsters will giggle and start raising their small hands to ask questions, reflecting a generation of interest. In these days of waning interest in science, mathematics etc experimentation and demonstration may be some of the ways to kindle and sustain interest.

Another one. Show how sodium reacts with water. Drop a little sodium in a beaker or glass of water and show how the burning takes place.

Show the properties of phosphorous, its fluorescence etc.Relate how matches use phosphorous.At every opportunity,highlight the relevance of chemistry.For several objects in a class room,from the black board to the chalk piece,the relevance of chemistry can be brought to the attention of kids.

Show a small experiment with some effervescent tablets, where the tablet disappeared, how solution takes place.Then tell them about how several items such as sugar,salt etc dissolves in water.The organic and inorganic aspects of chemistry,the use of polymers etc can be highlighed and how chemistry plays a part in everything around us.

Dyes and coloring chemicals can be used in small class room experimets.Show how potassium permanganate colors and purifies water. How peroxide functions.

Fill a plastic jug with some methane and create an explosion. The small kids may get scared a little bit but then that will create an everlasting impression and raise their hands in curiosity and interest, to be sure.

If you want to produce a louder bang, use some phosphorous (red) and potassium chlorate. Fill a drum with the stuff. Drop an iron hammer into it. The bang will scare you also but then your students’ interest will certainly be created and sustained for a long time to come. Oxidation reduction is thereby explained well and interest in it will remain for long.

Perhaps you can also make some ice-cream with liquid nitrogen, explaining the extremely low temperature properties of liquid nitrogen.

If you are well experienced with kids, you may not talk about the periodic table first though it is one of the first things your chemistry curriculum stipulates. Generate interest in it by linking, by association of ideas with elements from the above experiments. You can then go explaining about compounds, composite elements etc and how every thing around all of us is composed of nothing but all these elements. This will produce sufficient interest in and about chemistry, its impact on our life, necessity to learn as much about it as possible.

More about this author: Madhusoodanan K.P

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