Introduction and Chemical Identification

Today your child began an exciting science program in their classroom offered by Science from Scientists. SfS is a Boston-based, non-profit organization that strives to improve science and technology attitudes and aptitudes. We send real scientists into the classroom during school every other week to teach exciting, fun, and curriculum-relevant science lessons. We will be visiting your child’s classroom every other week throughout the school year. We will bring engaging, informative, and stimulating hands-on lessons with us to supplement the school’s science curriculum.

Mr. Mavros and Mr. Hart will be the scientific instructors for the students at the Browne School this academic year. Mr. Mavros is earning his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from MIT. His area of research is in computational chemistry working with testing batteries. Mr. Hart received his degree in Biochemistry and studied multiple neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease. They are both very excited to get the students exploring science in a hands-on atmosphere.

Students became chemistry sleuths in the science lab this week. In this lesson, we discussed how to identify a chemical without the use of complicated machines. Students learned that in addition to using their senses, they could also use chemical properties for identification. Each group of students was given three unknown white powders to test and using the data they collected from a series of 4 tests, they were then able to use their test results to identify the unknown white powders.

They performed tests of two different properties: solubility and reactivity in order to identify their unknown sample. They observed which samples dissolved in water and/or in rubbing alcohol and which reacted with vinegar or iodine (if a substance reacted with vinegar the students observed bubbling, and if a substance reacted with iodine, it turned purple!). Working collaboratively, they determined the properties of each unknown sample. They then used their results to determine the identity of their unknowns. Students did a great job staying focused on their experiments and collecting the data they needed to identify the unknowns.

Please check the Classroom Post on our website regularly to read about the science activities that your child is participating in and to view photos from your child’s classroom.

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How to view your child’s Classroom Post:
1. Visit our website at:
2. Click on the link for See inside the classroom.
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4. Enter the password: SFS2016
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