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Burning Down the House
In this demonstration, the teacher will use a potato and hydrogen peroxide to generate oxygen in a closed environment. Students can then observe its effects on a burning wooden splint and on burning steel wool. They will understand that a large amount of energy can be released by the process of oxidation. As an extension, the teacher can discuss how the appearance of oxygen (produced by cyanobacteria) in Earth's early atmosphere initially resulted in the formation of large deposits of iron oxide (Banded Iron Formations) and then aided in the evolution of more complex life forms.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Presentation / Demo
  • Chemistry
Technical requirements:
Lesson requires Microsoft Word
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2005, Glenn Dolphin.
DLESE Catalog ID: NYIC-000-000-000-042
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Glenn Dolphin
Union Endicott Central School District

Contact: Steve Kluge
No institutional affiliation