Chemistry is a very interesting subject for any homeschool science curriculum. It deals in reaction between two or more substances, color changes, heat production, production of sound energy, and much more. There is chemistry all around us, from a boiling egg, to making of pop corns, ripening of bananas, and burning firewood. As you study this subject, you will learn that there are essentially two kinds of changes: chemical and physical.
- Physical changes are
those changes where the substance appears different, but it is still the
same in its constituency. For instance, when a sheet of paper is torn, the
consequence may be pieces of paper. However, it is still paper.
- Chemical changes are those changes where atoms in the molecules are rearranged and create a different substance all together. Moreover, there is alteration in energy and color. For instance, when paper is burnt, the molecules making the paper undergo transformation and you obtain gaseous or solid ash molecules of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
How can you tell if the change is chemical or physical?
Here are a few tips:
It is a chemical change if:
- There is a formation of a new chemical
- Color changes
- Gas is released
- Some form of energy is released
- Substance gets hot
Setting up a Chemistry Lab in your house:
You will need a strong table. Make sure to cover it with a plastic tablecloth. Place some bottles with different powders and liquids (reactants), muffin cups and measuring spoons.
Materials needed: rubbing alcohol, water, vinegar (acetic acid), clear dish liquid, citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, washing soda, salt, cream of tartar, sugar, etc.
Aim: To understand which reactions are physical changes and which ones are chemical changes.
Process: Use the muffin cups and combine two liquids or more to see what happens. Also, touch the muffin cups to see if there is any fall or rise in temperature.
Precaution: while all these materials are safe, they may cause itchy and dry skin and sore eyes. Make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves.
Try these combinations and see what happens:
- Water + Citric acid +baking soda
- Vinegar + Baking soda
- Water + Baking soda
- Liquid soap + Salt + water
- Water + Sugar
- Water + Salt
- Salt + Sugar + water
- Liquid soap + Citric acid
- Vinegar + Washing soda
- Cream of tartar + Baking soda
- Water + Vinegar
Chemistry will become a lot more fun for your homeschooling student when you add live experiments to learning. There are so many amazing science experiments you can perform by searching about them on the internet.