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Week 7 - Chemistry

This week we took to the road with some exciting chemistry activities for the youth. Campers enjoyed being creative and making a mess while making play-doh and elephant toothpaste. They were able to see how household groceries can be mixed and react to create new substances with different appearances and properties.

Campers worked in teams to mix ingredients they could find at home such as flour, salt and vegetable oil, to make their own play- doh to take with them. Students first mixed the dry materials in a bowl and later added the wet materials and food coloring to create their play-doh. Once everything was stirred together, flour was then added to the bowl to keep the mix from getting sticky. Students were able to use their hands to mix the flour and knead their play-doh until it reached the correct consistency. Students were then allowed free time to play with their new creation, immediately rolling it into different shapes and molding animals – so creative! 


The last activity students participated in was making elephant toothpaste. This foamy reaction is created by mixing yeast, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen in a two-liter bottle. The reaction happens very quickly and shoots out of the bottle, creating a foam that looks like toothpaste being squeezed out of a big elephant-sized tube. Not only is the visible reaction fun for the kids, but they were also able to feel the heat created from the exothermic, or heat-yielding, reaction. We definitely had fun watching the students react to their colored foam filling up their bottle and spilling over, and it was an experiment that everyone wanted to do again!

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Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

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