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Discovery Tubes Mark as Favorite (1 Favorite)

ACTIVITY in Observations, Density, Physical Properties, Mixtures. Last updated October 15, 2019.

Objectives

By the end of this activity, students should be able to

• Contribute examples of physical properties for a substance referencing their observations.
• Understand that some substances will mix with one another, while others will not. This observation should allow students to classify mixtures appropriately as either heterogeneous or homogeneous.
• Understand the meaning of viscosity and use the term when describing portions of the mixture in the discovery tube.
• Define the term density and use examples from the discovery tubes to compare the density of substances.
• Recognize when substances in a solution are miscible or immiscible with one another.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

• Physical Properties
• Mixtures
• Density
• Viscosity

Time:

Teacher Preparation: 60-90 minutes

Lesson: 45 minutes

Safety

• Wear gloves and a lab apron when creating the Discovery Tubes.
• The hot glue gun and scissors should be handled by an adult.

Materials

• 2 feet of large vinyl tubing per discovery tube, 9/16 in. by 3/8 in. diameter (10 tubes can be made from this amount)
• 2 cm of small vinyl tubing per discovery tube, 3/8 in. by ¼ inch (this will serve as the connector/plug)
• Scissors
• Hot glue gun and several glue sticks
• Water
• Baby Oil
• Cornstarch
• Assorted Food Coloring
• Glitter
• Funnel (narrow tip)
• Two - 50ml graduated cylinder
• One - 10ml graduated cylinder
• 1 tbsp. measuring spoon
• Small colored rocks
• Disposable plastic cup
• Oobleck (you will prepare this)

Teacher Notes

• This activity works best if the teacher creates the discovery tubes prior to the lesson. I would not suggest that students help to create the tubes, as it is rather difficult and messy.
• Teachers should save the discovery tubes; they can be reused from year to year.
• Types of Discovery Tubes:

1.) Baby Oil + Colored Water + Glitter

2.) Baby Oil + Colored Water + Perler =Beads

3.) Baby Oil + Colored Water + Colored Rocks

4.) Baby Oil + Oobleck + Glitter

Teacher procedure for preparing the discovery tubes

1.) Plug in your hot glue gun, and leave it on until you are completely finished creating all of the tubes that you will need.

2.) Cut the large vinyl tubing into pieces that measure 2 feet in length. You will need one 2-foot piece for each discovery tube. Cut as many as you will need now.

3.) Cut the small vinyl tubing into 2cm pieces. You will need one 2cm piece for each discovery tube.

4.) Using your hot glue gun fill each of the 2cm pieces of vinyl tubing with hot glue, these will serve as a connector and a plug in the discovery tube.

5.) Now, using the hot glue gun, add glue to the inside of one end of a large vinyl tube. While the glue is hot, force one of the plugs you created in step #4 into the end of the tube. Repeat this step for each of the tubes that you intend to make.

6.) The large vinyl tubing has an approximate volume of 44ml when it is cut to 2ft in length. When adding ingredients to the tubes, it is important that the tubes retain about 8-10ml of air. This will allow for the contents to move freely throughout the tube.

Creating Baby Oil + Colored Water + Glitter Discovery Tube

1.) Measure 1ml of glitter; carefully pour the glitter directly to the empty tube. Note: When adding ingredients to the discovery tube, it is best if the tube is vertically elongated as much as possible.

2.) Using the graduated cylinder, measure 17ml of water. Add food coloring to the water if you would like it to be more colorful.

4.) Place the funnel in the open end of the vinyl tube, and carefully pour all of the contents from the graduated cylinder into the tube.

5.) Use a paper towel to dry the end of the tubing and the edging (this will allow it to seal easier)

6.) Using the hot glue gun, add glue to both ends of the tubing, making sure to cover the connector end/plug. Force the plug into the open end of the tube, to create a ring. You will need to hold it here for a minute or two to ensure the glue sets. Make certain that the tube does not leak. If there is any leakage, add more glue to the edges to secure the connection.

Teaching Concepts: Baby Oil + Colored Water + Glitter

• Mixtures: The oil and water will not mix, so this would be a good time to talk about the concept of mixtures. This is a heterogeneous mixture, as you can visually distinguish between the components.
• The water and food coloring form a homogeneous mixture that can also be referred to as a solution, since it is a liquid mixture.
• The vocab words “miscible” and “immiscible” can also be introduced as both concepts are evident in the tube. Water and oil are immiscible (do not mix), whereas the food coloring and water are miscible (mix completely)
• Question students to find examples of these vocabulary terms in the discover tubes.

Creating Baby Oil + Colored Water + Perler Beads Discovery Tube

2.) Using the graduated cylinder, measure 17ml of water. Add food coloring to the water if you would like it to be more colorful.

3.) Using the graduated cylinder, measure 17ml of baby oil.

4.) Place the funnel in the open end of the vinyl tube; add approximately 5ml of water to the tube.

5.) Place the funnel in the open end of the vinyl tube; add approximately 5ml of water to the tube.

7.) Place the funnel in the open end of the vinyl tube; add approximately 5ml of water to the tube.

8.) Place the funnel in the open end of the vinyl tube; add approximately 5ml of water to the tube.

9.) Repeat steps 6-8 until you have used all of your measured ingredients.

10.) Use a paper towel to dry the end of the tubing and the edging (this will allow it to seal easier).

11.) Use a paper towel to dry the end of the tubing and the edging (this will allow it to seal easier).

Teaching Concepts: Baby Oil + Colored Water + Perler Beads

• Mixtures can also be discussed in this discovery tube, the same concepts as are discussed in the “Baby Oil + Colored Water + Glitter” can be observed.
• This tube presents a good opportunity to investigate density. You will see that the beads will move through the oil, but not through the water. They will seem trapped by the pockets of water in the tube. This is because the water in more dense than the oil and the beads. The beads are more dense than the oil, but less dense than the water. This is why the beads appear to travel through the oil, but not through the colored water.