Monday, August 5, 2013

elements, compounds, acids, and bases

 Experiment No. 1: 
Extract the element Iron from a breakfast cereal. 
 What you need:

2 cups of a breakfast cereal with iron
a large bowl
enough water to cover the cereal
wooden spoon
strong magnet
hand lens

 Step 1 Place 2 cups of cereal in a big bowl and add just enough water to cover it completely.  Let sit until the cereal is mushy.
 Step 2 Stir for 5 minutes.
 Step 3 Add your strong magnet stir for 3 minutes then let it rest with the magnet in the slurry for 10 minutes.
 Do some note taking while you wait! 

 After 10 minutes carefully remove magnets to a clean plate. Carefully pour as  little water as possible to remove extra slurry.  Make sure not to rub the magnets or you will lose the iron sample.
 Step 5 Examine the magnets for 'fuzzy' looking slivers of iron.
 You really have to look close in these photos to see it.
The iron is the hazy looking particles between the two magnets.

 Here you can see the iron, it appears grainy on the surface of the magnets.

 Experimenter No. 2: 
Neutralize an Acid and a Base
Baking Soda=Acid
She isn't having any fun at all.
 Experiment No 3:
Create your own test for identifying Acids and Bases
 In a large pot bring 3 cups of water and 3 large red cabbage leaves (or the equivalent of) to a boil for 10 minutes.  Let cool then separate the colored liquid from the leaves, discarding the leaves.  Using three clear glass jars (we ended up using 4 Boo wanted to test lemon juice and tap water) pour equal amounts of your liquid in each.  To one jar add your base, to the other your acid, and the third any liquid of you want.  Watch what happens! 
Acids turn the dark purple water red and Bases turn it green! 


  1. Wow! Experiment #1 is awesome. I had no idea you could get iron out of breakfast cereal like that.

    1. It was one of the first labs I did in COLLEGE chem. I have been promising Boo we would do it forever. We would have had more of a sample to show but Boo ate it before I could snap a photo! lol.

  2. Really cool experiment with the iron and cereal. I think we are going to have to try that one here as well!