My chemistry portfolio!

How do we do science?

People “do” science everyday of their normal lives.  From hair dressers mixing dyes to create the correct hair color all the way to high tech scientists who build rockets, anyone can do science. In our chemistry class, students preform labs multiple times a week that help to build our knowledge of the vast science world.  We have made soap, silly putty, roasted marsh mellows, and even popped popcorn.  All of these activities force us to learn how chemical reactions take place and much more important information.  Sometimes we mess up during a lab, most of the time it’s because I didn’t follow directions.  No matter how much you mess up, you can always start over.  That is one of the great things about experimenting! For example, during the silly putty lab, my first attempt came out to be watery slime. After measuring my materials more carefully, I successfully created silly putty.  One great thing about science is it is all about facts.  Unlike other subjects in school such as English, opinions don’t matter.  If one does not get the correct amount of a substance, the result will not come out as planned.  Scientists are always learning from their mistakes.  Some of our greatest inventions have been discovered by accident.  Exploration is a huge part of science.  Coming up with new ideas and hypotheses are vital to discovering more about our world.  Science is not always easy and straightforward.  Especially in chemistry, math plays a big part.  Maybe  you have to use the gas law formulas or convert grams to moles.  Finding the solubility or balancing equations, they all involve a little bit of multiplication or division. At the beginning of the year, I though chemistry as being just mixing chemicals that are different colors and watching them bubble.  Turns out it’s a lot more than that and A LOT more complicated/confusing.  Now that it is the end of the year, I am filled with more scientific knowledge.  To be honest, chemistry was really hard for me and I do not feel like I did my best in the class but YOLO.

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Soap LAb

Throughout this blog I will tell you how to make soap with these instructions.

Anytime in the lab area saftey goggles, aprons, and gloves should be used. Also tie hair back and wear apropriate shoes.                                                            sl rubberglove


Next thing to do is to get all your ingrediates together for the lab.

sl ingredients

now its time to begin the soap making progress!!

Step one:measure out 250ml of water into erlenmeyer flasksl weigher

Step 2: mass NaOH in a weigh boat (make sure not to touch)




Step 4: mass 1g of sugar and add it to the erlenmeyer flask

Step 5: melt oils if necessary, then measure, and combine all oils into a 400mL beaker.

sl oil+

Step 6:next slowly poor the two mixtures together, stirring throughout the process.

Step 7: Keep stirring to create a thick paste. This could take a while so it is suggested to use a handheld emulsifier.

sl mixing

this also can be a good time to add a color or scent.

Step 8: pour the trace into a mold then wait 4-6 weeks to harden and mature to lose its alkalinity.

Step 9: Clean up using water and return matierals and wipe down lab station.

Step 10: USe your soap and experiment with different colors and scents and molds next time!!

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Do Veggies Save Lives?



I read a science article that linked vegetarian diets with mortality.

Three New Words: Hypertension- elevation of the blood pressure

Lacto-ovo-vegetarian- a vegetarian diet including dairy and egg products

Pesco-vegetarian- a vegetarian diet including seafood

Two Breakthroughs:  1. According to a study involving a group of 73,308 men and women, non-vegetarian and vegetarian, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality in all vegetarians combined vs. non-vegetarians was 0.88, or 12 percent lower, according to the study results.

2. Vegetarian men had a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality and IHD death.  However, the results showed no changes in women.

Interested in this subject? Read this other article!

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Poetry Of Chemistry

Chemistry is mixing chemicals

Chemistry is hot plates heating up

Chemistry is beakers clanking together

Chemistry is stange smells coming from the waste jar

Chemistry is dirty goggles and large aprons

Chemistry is blog posting all day long

Chemistry is balancing equations and finding mole ratios

Chemistry is gas laws and formulas to solve problems

Chemistry is life.

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Popping Popcorn

Mass of 10 unpopped kernels (g) 1.71 g
Average mass of 1 unpopped kernel (g) .171
Volume of 10 popcorn kernels (mL) (use water displacement method) 3.76 L
Average volume of 1 unpopped kernel .376 L
Mass of 10 popped kernels (g) 3.92 g
Average mass of 1 popped kernel (g) .392 g
Mass of water lost (g) (difference between popped and unpopped) (g) .142 g
Moles of water lost (mol) 1 mol water

1. Popping popcorn involves heating up kernals and shaking the container in which they are in. We did this in class using a hot plate and beaker.
2. When you heat the kernals, the water inside evaporates because of the heat. This creates pressure inside the kernal that eventually makes it pop.
3. Some kernals don’t pop because they burn before tey can crack. This is due to lack of movement of the container.
4. In the kernals, the pressure was 4.67 atm.

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I used to think…..But now I think….


Before we started learning more about gases in chemistry, I used to think they just had spaced out particles that floated around.  Whenever I thought about gases, I would always think about the experiment done with the match stick.  When the smell got around I thought of the molecules making their way around the room.   Now I know the topic is much more complicated.  Now with more knowledge, I have learned about the different gas laws that apply to certain situations.  I have also learned about the scientists who have made an impact of the world of gases such as Gay- Lussac, Charles, and Boyles’s law.  The combined gas law takes all three variables of temperature, volume, and pressure together in one equation.  Each different equation is useful to everyone in the gas world.  

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Boiling Ice: A Phase Change Lab

Boiling Ice: A Phase Change Lab

A graph representing how much time it takes to melt ice.

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Law of Conservation of Mass


Krystal Knight

January 8, 2013

Class D


Law of Conservation of Mass



-Law of Conservation of Mass is a relation stating that in a chemical reaction, the mass of the products equals the mass of the reactants.

-The real mass changes are when something more is added to the substance.  In this lab, the lead nitrate was added to the potassium iodide, changing the mass.  The apparent changes are the ones we see as obvious and may think the mass changes when it really does not. 

-When I mixed the solutions in activity 1, the liquid turned bright yellow.  However, the mass did not change.

-When the vinegar and baking soda combined, the reaction was foaming and the bag filling up with air.  This change did affect the mass because the air was added making the bag heavier.  You could let the air out and then mass the bag to account for the change. 

-The heating of the steel wool did affect its appearance.  When it got hot, the wool turned a blue color.  However, I did not get a change in mass.  The reason for no change in mass was due to the little pieces flying off while it was burning.

-The apparent changes in mass in experiments can be proved or disproved with just massing every material before and after the reaction happens. 

-To modify such experiments, the scientist should mass all substances and materials before doing anything with them.


            I have learned about the law of conservation of mass in this lab. The main thing that was important to take from doing these experiments was that the mass the the sunstance was the same before and after the reaction happened.  This refers to the products and reacants being equal in mass.  I have also learned how to account for changes in mass.  For example, during the steel wool over the burner, the mass was supposed to change.  Ours did not because we stuck the wool in the flame and little pieces came off, decreasing the mass.  I enjoyed doing the three experiments in this lab, and learned many things in the end. 

-Potassium Iodide and Lead Nitrate= 39.91 g before and after, no change in mass.

-Vinegar and Baking Soda= 198.9 g before, 198 g after.  .9 g change in mass.

-Steel Wool= 1.31 g before and after, no change in mass.

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How do we know about the building blocks of matter?

Scientists who lived long before we do discovered the building bocks of matter.  The building blocks of matter are atoms, the little molecules that make up evrything around us, including us.  Avagadro was a great scientist who will always be remembered for is discovery.  Avogadro’s number helps us to find moles of an atom of an element.  His discovery is still used in chemistry class today. It helps us to figure different elements moles.  Scientists all over the world use this equation to find moles, 6.022 * 10^23.  The electron configuration is also involved.  The electron configuration affects the behavior of an element by giving off a wave length, or the distance between two peaks of the waves.  A “happy” atom will have eight valence electrons, this is referred to as the octet rule.  Electrons often jump from orbital to orbital by absorbing and releasing energy.  When the electron jumps to a lower level, a light spectrum is made giving the appearance of color. The building blocks of matter is the basis of chemistry, and without Avagadro’s number, scientists wouldn’t be able to make the discoveries they do today.

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About me

I was born a scientist. I am curious about the world, and I use my inquiry skills in horses.  In order to remain safe around these large animals, I have to be quiet and calm.  If I make a sudden movement the horse may become scared and spook. Winter time is the most difficult when it comes to caring for horses.  They do grow a thick winter coat, but I have to put blankets on him to keep him warm.  There are different weights of blankets, just like there are different weight jackets.  Too heavy of a blanket could cause him to sweat and then freeze, and too light of a blanket could cause him to shiver.  Riding a horse is more complicated than it looks. I have to make sure I remain relaxed, so my horse is too.  I control every move he makes, so I have to be paying attention at all times.  Taking care of a horse takes a lot of time and effort, but it eventually pays off.

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