Shiny Stuff Chemical Reaction Science Experiment
In this fun and easy science experiment for kids, we’re going to attempt to make metal shiny by using a chemical reaction.
- Measuring spoon
- Twenty or thirty dirty pennies
- Two or three paperclips
- Fill the glass about halfway full with vinegar.
- Stir in one teaspoon of salt until it dissolves.
- Soak the pennies in the solution until they are clean.
- Take the pennies out of the vinegar solution.
- Now put the paperclips in the vinegar solution and let them sit for several hours.
- Remove the paperclips. If they are not a noticeably different color, return the paperclips to the solution.
How it Works:
The vinegar is an acid and when combined with salt will easily dissolve the copper of the pennies. The copper atoms in the vinegar and salt mixture will move through the solution and swap with the iron atoms in the paperclips. The swapping of iron atoms for copper atoms will copper plate the paperclips giving them a nice and shiny copper coating.
Make This A Science Project:
Try to copper plate other metal items. Try a different acid like lemon juice. Try different types of salt such as Epsom salts.