Toxicology Primer – Safety Note by Flinn Scientific Canada

Every chemical in the academic laboratory can be toxic under some set of exposure conditions. However, the reverse is also true—every chemical has some set of exposure conditions in which it is not toxic. This fundamental toxicology principle is usually summarized in the saying “the dose makes the poison,” which dates back to the medieval physician and scientist Paracelsus born in 1493. Continue reading

The Cheerios Effect

Ever notice how cereal clumps up in your bowl, or how cereal sticks to the edges of the bowl? Bubbles in beverages do the same thing.You’ve probably seen this surface tension and buoyancy at work, but did you know there’s some mind-blowing science behind it? What we learn in our cereal bowl even connects to the lives of tiny insects that walk on water. Continue reading

Plastics 101 | National Geographic

Once a completely natural product, much of today’s plastic is man-made and largely dependent upon fossil fuels. From polymers to nurdles, learn how plastic is created and what we can do to slow the lasting repercussions this material will have on both our planet and our lives. Continue reading

Flame-Retardant Balloon – Flinn Scientific Canada

Show students a “special” balloon that doesn’t pop when exposed to a flame. Students will come up with very clever ideas for why the balloon doesn’t pop. But, when all is said and done, the “magic” is the result of important scientific principles involving specific heat capacity and heat transfer. Continue reading

The Cosmic Origins of Earth’s Water

Why is Earth is a blue planet? Because it’s covered in water! Where did Earth’s water come from? Of course, water isn’t unique to our planet. The origin of water traces beyond the solar system to the earliest days of the universe. Here’s the story of the galaxy’s H2O. Continue reading

The Can Ripper – Flinn Scientific Canada

Show the power of chemistry by tearing apart an aluminum soda can with little effort. Just score the inside of a soda can to break the plastic lining, add some copper(II) chloride and water, and sit back—chemistry will do the rest. The single replacement reaction of aluminum metal with copper(II) ions “ dissolves” the aluminum from the inside out. With only the paint on the outside of thecan holding it together, the can will rip apart with just a firm twist. Continue reading

What is dust made of? – TED Ed by Michael Marder

Less than a tenth the size of an ant, a dust mite’s whole world is contained in the dusty film under a bed or in a forgotten corner. This realm is right under our noses, but from our perspective, the tiny specks of brilliant color blend together into a nondescript grey. What are these colorful microscopic particles? Michael Marder explores the science of dust. Continue reading