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Last week, the Tech Warriors led the Little Learning Warriors through a couple of chemical reaction experiments.  The students used these exciting reactions to learn about the basics of chemical reaction, the idea of decomposition and exothermic reactions, what a catalyst is, and lab safety.

The first experiment involved the Tech Warriors demonstrating the mixing hydrogen peroxide with dish soap, food dye, and finally potassium iodide (the catalyst), which resulted in a spectacular eruption out of their graduated cylinder.  The Little Learning Warriors saw how the hydrogen peroxide decomposed into water and oxygen, as the oxygen was “trapped” in the soap bubbles.  They also experienced the reaction as exothermic, as it gave off energy as heat.  The food dye just made the reaction look a little cooler.

After this demonstration, the Little Learning Warriors created their own reactions, mixing hydrogen peroxide, water, dish soap, food coloring, and finally yeast (the catalyst).  The students had two cups: one containing the hydrogen peroxide, and the other containing the yeast mixture.  When the students combined the contents of the cups, a big mound of foam grew out of the mixture.  

The students observed how the two reactions were very similar; the second reaction was just a little smaller and slower with a different catalyst.  Each reaction demonstrated to the students the process of decomposition and exothermic reactions with the introduction of a catalyst, while using proper safety techniques with the use of goggles, gloves, and splash containers.