Upper school chemistry students are exploring how electrons can move around an atom to change its properties. They are learning about ions, ionic compounds, naming compounds, and electron configurations, and conducting experiments via flame tests. A flame test is used to detect the presence of a metal in a compound. Not only does it indicate whether a metal is present, it also identifies what kind of metal it is by the color of the flame when the compound is heated. An orange flame indicates that sodium is present; green means copper is present; pink, potassium; and red, strontium. By conducting experiments and drawing conclusions about the results, students mirror the work of real chemists, thus making classroom learning more effective and fun.
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