This is a two part lab in which students complete a paper chromatography lab then design their own to test some aspect of pen inks or the lab technique. This is an introductory lab that does not require any background information. I use this lab as a day 1 and 2 activity for my AP Chemistry class. This handout includes the introduction, procedures, data collection and post lab questions for both parts of this lab.
This lab helps students understand basic chromatography as well as basic lab design. It does not get into complicated concepts of polarity, but those can be included depending on when you use this lab during the year. This document is editable and can be adapted to fit your students' needs.
Lab materials required: filter paper cut into rectangles, cups or beakers, water, different types/colors of pens.