This fun and totally safe lab activity allows students to investigate stoichiometry by determining the best ratio of hydrogen and oxygen gases to have a complete and pretty exciting reaction. If you’ve wanted to order the Flinn Scientific kit and not had the budget, this lab will let you do the same thing with some simple materials from your chemical stockroom and the grocery store. Better yet, you can do it for years to come without having to order new kits and you can do it for hundreds of students for pennies.
You’ll need HCl (2M), mossy zinc, yeast, and 3% hydrogen peroxide and 105+ disposable beryl pipettes. Once you’ve set it up, it’s ready to go year after year by just topping up the reagents.
Students generate oxygen gas from a simple reaction with hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen gas from the reaction of zinc and hydrochloric acid. Using water displacement, they collect the gases in different ratios and then ignite them over a lit wooden splint. Once they identify the best mix, they create several “rockets” with that mixture and launch them with a simple to build piezoelectric switch using either a barbecue lighter replacement switch or an up-cycled butane lighter.
• Hands on experience
• Cooperative Learning
• Teacher instructions and set up
• Reinforcement of difficult concepts
• Student handouts with a key
Keywords: mole, stoichiometry, molar mass, hydrogen, oxygen, Flinn, rocket, lab, laboratory, experiment, fun, exciting, STEM, GTE