As part of their study of single replacement reactions, eighth graders in John Zufall’s chemistry class conducted an experiment to see what happens when zinc and hydrochloric acid (Zn +HCl) are combined. The boys added zinc pellets and HCl to a beaker, placing a balloon over the top to collect any gases released. Mr. Zufall talked to the class about what occurs during this single replacement reaction, with the boys adding their thoughts and asking pertinent questions.
After a 10 minute-wait, each group tied off its gas-filled balloon and attached it to a long stick. Making sure to put on their goggles, the boys cautiously touched their balloon to the flame. A wonderful mini explosion brought cheers from the class each time a balloon was tested!