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Here’s a fun, qualitative experiment using those inexpensive glow sticks from the Dollar Store. For 5-15 cents per student, you can have your classes investigate the effect of temperature on the reaction rate of a glow stick. Each student will leave with one at the end of the lab so the whole school will be interested in it!
The focus of this activity is the Kinetic Theory of Matter and how excited electrons can emit photons of light when they fall back to the ground state. You can introduce E = hf if you choose. It also offers the opportunity to point out that lots of stuff on the internet is a little crazy…
The lab takes 30-50 minutes depending on how you use it and offers an opportunity to discuss reaction rates, Kinetic theory, visible light and more. This activity is appropriate for on-level and pre-AP chemistry students. It is also appropriate for physical science students.
• Reinforcement of difficult concepts
• Power Point Pre-lab presentation
• Student handout
• Student data tables for lab books.
Keywords: energy, Planck's constant, frequency, spectroscope, electron configuration, shells, Bohr shell diagrams, chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, exothermic, light, photons, energy levels, chemical reaction, photoelectric effect.