Experiments for Kids: What Factors Affect a Reaction?

12th November 2014

Science

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If you’ve been following our previous three posts on experiments for kids, you’ll know the common signifiers of a chemical reaction; colour changes, production of gas or heat, luminescence and the formation of a precipitate.

But, do you know which factors affect a reaction? In the final blog post of the series, we look at one of the main factors that affect chemical reactions and explain how children can discover it for themselves.

Experiment 4: What Factors Affect a Reaction?

One of the main factors that affect chemical reactions is temperature. In this case, we’ll be using a glow stick to see how temperature affects a reaction.

The glow stick is a good example of a reaction that produces light. There are three chemicals inside the glow stick; hydrogen peroxide, diphenhydramine oxalate and a dye (which will be different for each colour).

When these chemicals are mixed, it produces two compounds. One of these compounds will eventually activate the dye to produce fluorescence.

Ingredients:

  • Several glow sticks

Method

  1. Gently bend the glow sticks to activate them and place them under different conditions.
  2. Examples of conditions you could try include in the freezer, in warm water and at room temperature.

Compare how long the brightness lasts and how bright each glow stick is. You should find that warmer temperatures accelerate the rate at which reactions occur. This should make your glow stick brighter but as the reagents are used up quicker, it should last for less time than the one you put in the freezer.

We have finished the series of chemical reactions for kids on what is probably the most simple of the experiments. They key is to use your observation skills and be really clear on how different conditions have affected the glow of your glow stick.

We hope your children have enjoyed learning about science with us and have taken something away from the chemistry experiments for kids. Please share your results and photos with us on social media and help us work to get more children interested in science.

See More from ‘Chemical Reactions for Kids’

Experiment 1: Heat and Release of Gas
Experiment 2: Green Pennies and Copper Plated Nails
Experiment 3: Electrolysis

 

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