Combustion in a Test Tube

Zoris A. Soderberg Daniel Webster
4055 W. Arthington Street
Chicago IL 60624


To review and enhance vocabulary understanding of words related to the science
To develop and enhance students' understanding of combustion
To demonstrate that certain things are needed for combustion - especially oxygen
To demonstrate combustion

Materials Needed:

Dry yeast (2 envelopes), 30 small test tubes, 30 splints (very small wooden
sticks), matches, hydrogen peroxide, test tube holders (30), or clothes pins


1. Review the definition of: ignition, combustion, kindling temperature,
oxygen, fire and heat
2. Pre-measure a small amount of dry yeast (about one eighth of a teaspoon)
for each of the test tubes.
3. Pour the pre-measured amounts of dry yeast into dry small test tubes and
put them to one side.
4. Hold a short discussion with the students about combustion and what is
needed to cause combustion.
5. At the end of the discussion give each of the students a test tube with
the yeast in it.
6. Have the students place the test tube inside the test tube holder.
7. Quickly check each test tube to see if this has been done correctly
8. Have each student pour a small (about 4ml) of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
into their test tube on top of the dry yeast (which reacts very quickly)
9. Have the students quickly light the splints and quickly blow out the
fire on the splint to a slight glow. Immediately place the glowing
splint into the test tube with the reacting mixture (Do not drop the
glowing splint into the test tube).
10. Have the students observe what happens (glowing splint should burst back
into a flame - not dangerous, but use caution).
11. After the demonstration, have the students place used materials on tray.
12. Hold class discussion on what they did and saw.

Performance Assessment:

1. Upon reviewing the vocabulary words the students will demonstrate their
level of comprehension of the words by using them in related science
2. After doing the demonstration the students will be able to explain
what combustion is and what is needed to cause combustion.


Mixing the peroxide on top of the dry yeast causes the yeast to react thus
trapping oxygen inside the yeast bubbles. When the glowing splint is placed
inside the test tube with the mixture, the splint will burst into a flame
because of the presence of oxygen because oxygen is the main element in


Former college instructors.

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