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Tradition in OHS Chemistry

An annual tradition in OHS advanced chemistry classes just prior to the Christmas break is for students to make "Christmas trees" from lab equipment. Ring stands,utility clamps, Florence flasks, Erlenmeyer flasks, and test tubes are all fair game.

Each container was filled with solutions students made by mixing acid-base indicators and various solvents such as water, acetone, and ethyl alcohol. Before building the ornaments, students discussed the difference between polar and non-polar solvents and solubility (polar solvents dissolve polar solutes.)

Finishing touches were added with lights, glass ornaments, and a little latex from the lab for a tree top.

"Chem students enjoy the novelty of the activity," says instructor Gary Thompson. "They also enjoy this opportunity to be artistic and creative in a science class."