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Rainbow Electrolysis

Autopause

Materials

1 Round Petri Dish
1 Round Petri Dish
1 Bottle of Universal Indicator Liquid
1 Bottle of Universal Indicator Liquid
1 Bottle of Methyl Red Liquid
1 Bottle of Methyl Red Liquid
1 Bottle of Bromothymol Blue Liquid
1 Bottle of Bromothymol Blue Liquid
1 Plastic Cup
1 Plastic Cup
1 Pipette
1 Pipette
1 Battery
1 Battery
1 Battery Connector & Clamps
1 Battery Connector & Clamps
1 Tube of Pencil Leads
1 Tube of Pencil Leads

Instructions

STEP 1
0:00

Reach into your kit & pull out the bag with the battery in it. Take everything out of the bag and place it around the white mat that is also included in your box. Then, place the empty bag back in your box.

STEP 2
0:21

Take the round petri dish and place it in the middle of the mat. You can move the rest of the materials off to the side for now.

STEP 3
0:34

Next, grab the bottle that says Universal Indicator.To open, simply push down on the top and turn.

STEP 4
0:54

Next, we’re going to squeeze the liquid into the petri dish, but not all of it, try to leave about a quarter of the liquid in the bottle.

STEP 5
1:16

Now let’s grab the battery and unwrap it. Then, throw the plastic wrapper away in the trash.

STEP 6
1:47

Time to connect the wires to the battery! On the top of the battery are two connectors, one is smaller and the other is bigger. The wires also have two connectors, one big and one small. To connect them, the big connector will attach to the smaller one.

STEP 7
2:14

Next, grab the tube that contains the sticks of lead. These are the same ones found inside of pencils. Uncap the tube and place the lead sticks onto your mat.

STEP 8
2:41

Now we’ll attach the stick of lead to the connector. To do this, we want to attach the connector to the flat end of the stick of lead. Notice there’s a pointy end and a flat end on the lead. Let’s attach it below the edge.

STEP 9
3:03

Next, we’ll attach the other connector to another stick of lead. You have extras just in case one breaks.

STEP 10
3:32

Now, we’ll grab both sticks of lead, and hold them just like we do a pencil. Be sure to hold it close to the front, if you hold the lead too far back it might break.

STEP 11
3:59

Next, place the tips of the lead sticks into the petri dish and we’ll want to hold them there while we watch the reaction start to happen. It should take about 15 seconds.

STEP 12
4:27

You should be seeing some colors starting to show. Now, let’s try moving the sticks up and down in a light flicking motion. The colors start to expand

STEP 13
5:24

Go ahead and try moving the sticks around in different ways like circles. You can experiment with all kinds of motions. The longer you hold the sticks in one place the brighter the colors will be.

STEP 14
6:13

Let’s try using the pipette! You can suck up some of one color and squeeze it back out into another color to mix them too. The pipette can also be used to swirl the colors too. Have fun and experiment with the sticks and the pipette.

STEP 15
7:13

You can even change the colors back to the original blue color we started with by swirling the pipette around and around until all the rainbow colors have disappeared. When you’re done carefully empty the liquid into the empty cup provided.

STEP 16
7:40

Now, let’s do it again with different colors. Place the empty petri dish back in the center of the mat.

STEP 17
7:47

This time, were going to use the bottle that says Methyl Red.

STEP 18
8:01

Just like before, we’ll squeeze the liquid from the bottle into the petri dish. Remember to keep a little bit in the bottle for later.

STEP 19
8:13

Next, take your lead sticks, and just like we did last time, place them into the liquid and wait about 15 seconds before you start moving the sticks around.

STEP 20
10:02

Now, let’s try drawing something with the colors. If you go really slowly, you can try to draw a smiley face or anything else you’d like. Pretty neat!

STEP 21
12:43

When you’re done, gently empty the liquid into the plastic cup and we can setup again to try the final color.

STEP 22
12:56

This time, were going to use the bottle that says Bromothymol Blue. Whoa, that’s a big word!

STEP 23
13:05

Let’s squeeze the liquid once again into our petri dish remembering to save a little bit for later. Your color may look a little different than mine, but that’s okay!

STEP 24
13:37

Next, place your lead sticks into the liquid again and hold them for about 15 seconds. Look at the new colors we’re making this time! Check out that purple, it’s really bright! Which one is your favorite?

STEP 25
16:31

When you’re done, just pour the liquid into your cup, and we can put all the plastic materials back in the bag. Everything in the bag can be recycled and the liquid can go down your household drain. The battery is still good, go ahead and use it for something you need.

How It Works

In this experiment, there are two separate things going on. First, we are running electricity through water. You may have heard that water is also called H2O. The H stands for Hydrogen, and the O stands for Oxygen. When we run electricity through it, it actually rips apart the water molecules to make just H. Hydrogen. And just O. Oxygen.

We can see hydrogen gas and oxygen gas bubbling off of those black rods. Now that splitting process changes the property of the water near those rods. On one side it becomes acidic like lemon juice and on the other side, basic like baking soda. But if that’s all that was happening it would be clear and we would just see bubbles. We used another chemical called an indicator to indicate to us that the property of the water is changing by changing the colors.
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