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Super Saturday - Science: Christmas Chemical Mix Up

On Saturday 3rd December, 30 students from various schools made their way on a cold morning to Nexus: Camborne Science and International Academy’s Centre of Excellence for STEM.

Students had one challenge; to solve the Christmas Chemical Mix Up. One of Santa’s elves had been mischievous and tampered with Mrs Claus’ baking mixture. This led to our year 5s and 6s carrying out a range of colourful and exciting chemical tests to identify which of the five mixtures was Mrs Claus’.

Each pair had to work carefully and be super observant to be able to identify the clues. They carried out flame tests to identify metal ions. Once the lights were off, the students looked in awe at all of the wonderful colours produced. Next, they went on to test the unknown powers for sugar using Benedict’s solution. Again, a range of colours were produced, but this required students to use their knowledge learnt so far to be able to identify exactly which mixes contained sugar. Finally, they tested for starch and bicarbonate of soda. Some students were amazed by how much each mix effervesced; some almost bubbled out of the top of the test tube!

Overall, a very challenging yet enjoyable day was held at Nexus. Especially as all students correctly identified the correct baking mix, meaning that Mrs Claus was able to bake up cookies after all!