Year 6 recently started their chemistry topic and were thrilled to be practising how to set up and use their Bunsen burner stations safely. Their investigation was to collect and set up the equipment; put on their safety goggles; use a lighted splint from the Bunsen on the teacher’s bench and very carefully light their own Bunsen burners (set on the yellow, safety flame) until ready to begin. They then added two spatulas of zinc oxide powder to a test tube. Using test tube holders, they held the test tube over the flame for about thirty seconds and observed what happened, before allowing it to cool and observing again. Zinc oxide powder is white in colour at room temperature. When heated it loses oxygen and turns yellow – upon cooling, it becomes white again. All were happy with their reactions and their responsible approach paves the way to more fabulous investigations ahead!

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