High School SMILE Meeting
13 February 2001
Notes Prepared by Porter Johnson

Glenda Ellis (Williams School)
Handout: Layers in a Glass

Glenda explored the concept of density (lower density liquids float on those of higher density) using oil, isopropyl (or rubbing) alcohol, and water, using food coloring to distinguish the liquids, so that their layers could be seen more easily.  Before doing the experiment, we made guesses as to which of the liquids would be least dense, most dense, and intermediate in density.  She put food coloring only in water and alcohol, since the water-based food coloring would not dissolve in oil.  

The material first formed three layers from bottom to top, corresponding to water, oil, and alcohol, in decreasing order of density.  After mixing and settling, there were only two layers, rather than 3, since the alcohol and water mixed in each other, and the color was a "mixture" of those for alcohol and water.  The oil layer, which still did not mix with the other two, went to the top.

For additional information, check the website http://library.thinkquest.org/2690/exper/exp25.htm.

Erma Lee (Williams School)

Erma had three containers, each containing a different kind of dried beans [or peas]; the sizes were "small", "regular", and "large".

At some point in the experiment we ran out of beans. [Be sure to get a plentiful supply when you do this experiment.]

Pat Riley (Lincoln Park HS) Conservation of Mass in Chemical Reactions
used a large 2-pan balance.

Notes taken by Ben Stark.