Chemistry Science Projects

There are 113 different atoms or elements in existence. An atom is the smallest part of an element that has the chemical properties of that element. Think of gold. Now think of gold in its essence. The smallest part of gold that is still gold is an atom of gold, and is called the element gold. There are only 113 elements in this vast world of ours. Everything else is made up of combinations of these 113 things. It is this combing that is the science of chemistry. To put it a little differently, and to explain it more fully, let me introduce you to the molecule. The molecule is the smallest physical piece of an element or compound. In an element, these atoms are the same. In a compound, these atoms are two or more different ones. These molecules make up our world. There are millions of different kinds of molecules in our world. Chemistry is the science of the study of the action and reaction of molecules as they form compounds. Compounds are just larger and different groupings of molecules.

There are two general fields of study in chemistry. Organic chemistry deals with the chemistry of living organisms. Inorganic Chemistry studies the chemistry of everything else. Molecules are so small that we need a microscope to see them. Chemistry studies how they form, how they break apart and how they change when they meet other molecules. It all deals with the objects on, in and around the earth.

Did anyone ever tell you that no two snowflakes are alike? Do you think it could be true?

Let’s examine a snow flake chemically.

We’ll start by defining snowflake. A snowflake is a crystal that is formed when a cloud’s temperature reaches freezing or below. They form on particles of dust as the water vapor condenses. Partially melted crystals cling together to form snowflakes.

There are basically six different kinds of snowflakes, believe it or not. You’ve felt the pointy kind, maybe. It kind of pricks your face and forms when it is bitter cold outside. It is classed as either a dendrite or needle crystal, probably, because these two have the strongest points. But all crystals have sharp corners. You could do an experiment just showing the shapes of crystals.

They all crystals have six sides. This is caused by the shape of the water molecule.

The names of water crystals are: needles, columns, plates, columns capped with plates, dendrites and stars. The type of crystals a molecule becomes depends on how much water there is in the clump of dust and water crystal when it freezes, and how cold it was. If it’s kind of a warm snowy day, the flakes will be larger than if it is a bitterly cold day.

First of all, find yourself a big magnifying glass. Then, freeze a piece of black construction paper by placing it in the freezer for several hours. Take the paper outside, and catch some snowflakes. Quickly, bring them inside. Look at the snowflakes under the magnifying glass. A lot of them will be ‘broken.’ But you should see some with six sides. Even if they are broken, you will see some beautiful examples of intricate work. You might next wonder about how that work was done. But that is an experiment for another day.