High School Biology-Chemistry SMILE Meeting
09 March 2004
Notes Prepared by Porter Johnson

Jane Shields  [Calumet Career Academy]         Tie Dye Chromatography, continued
followed up her lesson on chromatography by passing out procedures for separating lipstick, as well as water-soluble markers,  into component colors.  For additional details on lipstick chromatography see the article Whose Lips were these?  / Forensic Chemistry by Stacey Endebrock, Hillsboro High School R-III, Hillsboro Missouri, on the SuccessLink website:  http://www.successlink.org/gti/gti_lesson.asp?lid=2083.

Thanks for the info, Jane!

Ben Stark  [Illinois Institute of Technology, Biology]         Calculating the Oxygen Content of Air
repeated his lesson given at the HS Biology-Chemistry SMILE meeting of 09 September 2003 bc090903.html.

Even better, Ben. Thanks!

Brenda Daniels [Collins HS]         How Big is the Continent of Africa?
had made a trip to Kinko's® to make a Big! map of Africa from a smaller one. She taped the big map to the board, and each of us was given a smaller map of Africa.  We cut out maps of the USA, China, Western Europe, India, Argentina, and New Zealand -- all drawn to the same scale. We found that the combined area of these countries was about the same as the area of Africa --- about 30 million square kilometers. We could fit all these images on top of the image of the African continent, with very little sticking over its edges. Africa is BIG!

This puts the world in its proper proportion.  Very nice, Brenda!

Bradley Wright [Eisenhower HS Blue Island, Chemistry]         How Do You See a Gas?
took us on an educational trip showing how to "see" a gas.  He brought out two "beakers" constructed from clear plastic pop bottles by cutting off the top portions.  In the first beaker, he mixed baking soda and vinegar, to produce bubbles of C02 gas.  Kids usually say "so what?", but Brad lit a candle, and lowered it into that beaker.  The flame went out!.  Then he removed the candle, lit it again, and put it  into the second beaker (filled with air). The candle flame continued to burn. Brad removed the candle from the second beaker. Next Brad poured C02 gas from the first beaker into the second beaker. Then he demonstrated that the candle would burn in the first beaker, but not in the second one.  Brad then produced a fresh batch of C02 in the first beaker.  He then poured the C02 down a V-shaped inclined ramp about 50 cm long, placing the lit candle at the bottom of the angle bar.  The flame in the candle went out -- again!  Wow!

Brad then demonstrated the Schlerien effect  --- which leads to wavy views when one looks down the highway or across the landscape on hot days.  Brad produced C02 in beaker 1 as before, and poured it into beaker 2 as before --- with the overhead projector lighting both beakers from behind.  The projected image on the screen became wavy as pouring took place.  We could literally "see" the CO2 gas being poured from one beaker to the other, by looking at the screen!

For additional details see the Bill Beaty's Weird Science [http://amasci.com/weird.html] article Threadlike Streams of Electric Windhttp://www.amasci.com/weird/unusual/airthred.html, or  and the University of Michigan web-based article Schlieren Image of a Candle Flamehttp://www.physics.lsa.umich.edu/demolab/demo.asp?id=824.

Wonderful phenomenological science, Brad!

Wanda Pitts [Douglas Elem] Two Sticklers by Terry Stickels [http://www.terrystickels.com/]
gave us these two puzzles that she has used in her fifth grade classes to stimulate interest in learning:

  1. Q: "The numbers 6009 and 6119 are both numbers that can be rotated 180° and still be read the same. Can you figure out the first number preceding 6009 that holds this same characteristic?"
  2. Q: "How many triangles are there in the figure?"

    A: 8 triangles: ABC, ABD, ABE, ABF, ACD, AEF, BCF, BDE
Really good puzzles, Wanda! Thanks.

Notes taken by Benjamin Stark and Pat Riley.