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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 11 Issue 1 (2006) pp 33-37

Chemical Demonstration Show

Sally D. Solomon* and Susan A. Rutkowsky

Department of Chemistry, Drexel University, Philadelphia PA,19104,
Received May 3, 2005. Accepted October 4, 2005.

Published online: 23 January 2006

Abstract. The set of demonstrations described here travels easily, takes less than an hour to perform, and encourages interaction with audiences of all levels. No more than a table and a pitcher of water at the site are necessary. The presentation begins with a welcome message using invisible ink and continues with a selection of chemical elements, memory metal, the synthesis of rubber, nylon and polyurethane, burning flash paper, creating giant bubbles, and the properties of liquid nitrogen. Many of the demonstrations have been modified to make them more reliable and easier to perform. The entire presentation has been given in classrooms, laboratories, science museums, gymnasiums, and banquet rooms. The same set of demonstrations is used for everyone—from very young children to adults. The manuscript that follows includes ideas on how to engage any audience, as well as detailed procedures for every demo, sources of materials, background chemistry, and a suggested order for performing them.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; outreach; polymers; iron chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: February 1, 2006

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