Monday, October 18, 2010


Phew. I just finished a lab with my students which involved copper wire and silver nitrate. NORMALLY, I have zero tolerance for "tom-foolery" in lab, however...this was clever and harmless goofiness. The lab involves placing copper wire in a solution of silver nitrate and observing the single replacement reaction as it unfolds. A precipitate (the silver) attaches itself to the wire and it looks quite a bit like a pipe cleaner in it's earliest stages. One of my students called me from across the room, with an edge of concern in his voice. I said, "what the..." as I approached and saw the neon glow coming from one of their test tubes (with H20). What are the odds that a high school junior would have an actual neon colored pipe cleaner in his backpack? I LOVE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS...

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