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Lesson Plan

Heat and Rates of Reaction

Use light sticks and dry ice for a dramatic lesson on rates of reaction and how they change with heat.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Chemical Changes (2, 7)
Physics: Heat (3)
Curriculum connection (2005 science topic): 
Physical Science: Properties of Matter (grade 2)
Physical Science: Chemistry (grade 7)

Compare how brightly light sticks glow when dipped in hot and cold water, and discuss rates of this chemical reaction.
Observe the dramatic reaction of dry ice turning to gas as it is added to warm water.
Add detergent to make dry ice bubbles.

Review the chemistry of the lesson:
The light sticks glow because a chemical reaction makes a new glowing molecule. The rate of this chemical reaction can be sped up by dipping the light stick in warm water, or slowed down by dipping in cold water.
Dry ice sublimes at room temperature, making clouds of carbon dioxide gas in the air, and violently bubbles as the gas is rapidly formed in warm water.

Grades tested: 
Gr 2
Gr 3
Mona Francis
Ramona Smith
Site tested: 
Champlain Heights Annex
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

Scientist in Residence Program at the Vancouver School Board