January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Kitchen Chemistry

Posted: Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Judith Aguilar

My favorite aspect of attending the CSTA Conference is getting new ideas from practicing teachers. My all-time favorite lesson that I picked up as a new teacher was for Kitchen Chemistry.  It was perfect for my 5th grade classroom. It had all the components I needed for the scientific process and it covered the CA standard for chemical reactions. You set up a station of mystery liquids and powders to demonstrate some common reactions such as exothermic and endothermic, bubbles and fizzes, and creating a neutral solution when mixing an acid and a base. It also follows the 5E lesson plan template, which is a great learning cycle for all students.

All the materials you will be using are perfectly safe to use in the classroom. As the name gives it away, all your materials will come from the kitchen. It takes a lot of preparation on the teacher’s part, but the results are well worth the time. The materials you will need are zip-top bags, plastic spoons, small plastic cups with lids, cabbage juice indicator, vinegar, water, sodium chloride, cornstarch, sodium carbonate, powdered lemonade, Epsom salts, flour, lemon juice, and tincture of iodine. All these materials can be found in your grocery store. The small plastic cups with lids are the type that ketchup and such “to-go” condiments come in.

Label the powders with letters and the liquids with numbers. The chemical reactants are purposefully not identified so students can’t just guess at what caused the reaction. The rule is that the students have to mix two powders with one liquid and witness the change. They will write down the formula they used and the changes they observed, decide whether it produced a chemical or physical reaction, and then go back to choose another formula. They eventually need to choose a change that they try to replicate at least three times, pinpointing the powder or liquid combination that causes that change. The vocabulary words they are using are:

  • solution,
  • reactants
  • products
  • chemical change
  • physical change

During this lesson, students are engaged, ask questions, collaborate with other groups, and it is very exciting for them when they observe an exothermic or endothermic reaction.  They truly experience the scientific process by trying out new formulas and trying to explain what is happening, using what they have already learned from previous lessons and activities.

Powders: Liquids:
A=Flour 1=Water
B=Epsom salts 2=Water w/cabbage juice indicator
C=Powdered lemonade 3=Vinegar with cabbage juice indicator
D=Calcium chloride 4=Sodium Carbonate solution w/ purple cabbage juice indicator
E=Sodium carbonate 5=Diluted lemon juice with cabbage juice indicator
F=Corn starch 6=Diluted tincture of iodine solution

Written by Judith Aguilar

Judith Aguilar is a science teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District and is a member of CSTA.

4 Responses

  1. Yay Judith! Good work!

  2. Thank you for sharing your lesson with us. You mentioned above that you have a 5e lesson plan to go along with this. Can you post the lesson plan as an attachment to your article?

    Thanks Again!

  3. I am glad I was able to share. I have a written out format of my lesson, but I will type it and attach it this week-end for you.

  4. Judith, I was thrilled to see the article and especially you as the author of the article!
    Thank you for sharing your good work. I am soo proud of you.

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Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

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DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

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California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

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Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal Learn More…

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California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

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Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.