Friday, August 16, 2013

Kindergarten science: cleaning dirty pennies with salt and vinegar

Amelia has been anxiously awaiting science lab day in kindergarten. Thursday was finally the day! It took her all of 2 minutes after climbing in my car to excitedly chatter about the day's fun experiment.


--dirty pennies (the dirtier, the better)
--about 1/2 cup vinegar
--2 teaspoons of salt

Amelia explained to me that they first gently stirred salt into vinegar - carefully, not to splash, "or they would all smell like pickles!"

Second, they dropped in the pennies and swirled the mixture for a minute. Finally, they fished out the pennies and rinsed them with clean water.

Voila! Cleaner pennies with two simple household ingredients.

Apparently, the science behind this is the effect of the acidic vinegar, when mixed with salt, on the cooper oxide from the dirty pennies. Amelia probably has little interest in the science details at age five, but she definitely thought it was fun!

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