A cool smoke floated along the floors of third-grade classrooms at Lockhart Elementary School, reminiscent of a scary movie or a television Halloween episode. It was the finale in a series of science experiments that captivated students on Jan. 25.
Chemistry was the focus for Peter Siklodi, a.k.a. Proton Pete, from Mad Science, who conducted several experiments using dry ice. Proton Pete mixed dry ice, water and shampoo to make bubbles and demonstrated how a balloon could expand simply from putting a piece of dry ice inside.
Students were able to make real-world connections. As Proton Pete mixed water with red food coloring and dry ice to make a gas, he explained that it was similar carbonation in soda. For a culminating activity, students gathered on the carpet as the mad scientist placed dry ice in boiling water. As students observed the smoke around their feet, they learned how warm air rise and cool air sinks.
All students received a cup to bring home that changes appearance based on temperature, along with a list of suggested experiments.