Beachborough Science at Stowe School

Form VI Science at Stowe

Last Friday, Form VI went on a trip to Stowe with Mr. Tearle. We started off talking about Elements, Compounds, Atoms and Molecules; discussing why H2 was a molecule and an element. After he lit a Hydrogen balloon and together we formed an equation on his board using both chemical symbols and particle models. 2H2 + O2 -> 2H20. We all then did a practical where we used a pH meter to measure the pH of Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) as we added Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) 1 ml at a time. We plotted graphs to show our results which started around pH 1.5 and after about 20 ml shot up from pH 3 to pH 10. Mr Tearle then set us a challenge to make every single colour on the pH scale. One group did an extremely good job and achieved red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. We went back into the science theatre where Mr. Tearle showed us his favourite chemistry experiments, involving a hydrogen bomb, a tribute to Thomas Edison, a screaming jelly baby and a hydrogen balloon with a fuse. The hydrogen bomb got everybody in the mood for explosions and fire; we looked on in awe at his phosphorus light bulb glowing brightly in his jar of oxygen. The two most exciting, however, were kept for the end when a jelly baby was placed in the bottom of a molten potassium chlorate and it screamed, then flew out, a flame hit one of his important bits of paper and it started to burn which was rather funny for the whole class but he handled it well, moving the test tube so it would not fly out and put the jelly baby back in. At the end of the session he filled a balloon with Hydrogen and some Oxygen (it makes a bigger bang), created a fuse, Magnesium and Copper Oxide, and lit it. The Magnesium displaced the copper and a white flame of the Magnesium burnt along the line lighting the balloon which exploded with a loud bang, the response being either a scream or “Can we do that again?!”Thank you Mr. Tearle, a great afternoon, we all thoroughly enjoyed it! Report by Adam Loader, Form VI