Growing Up in Santa Cruz: High School Chemistry Students Conduct Seasonal Experiment

Growing up in Santa Cruz, January 2024, “High School Chemistry Students Conduct Seasonal Experiment.”

Recently, Mount Madonna School (MMS) 10th grade students explored “redox reactions” – a high school chemistry class version of holiday crafting – during a lab activity. A redox reaction, also known as oxidation reduction, is a reaction that involves the transfer of electrons between “chemical species” or the atoms, ions or molecules involved in the reaction.

The students were transitioning between studying ionic compounds and chemical reactions and teacher Lisa Catterall offered them a “perfect experiment” to reinforce their learning and to prepare them for the next unit.

“As students performed a four-step reaction inside a glass ball, the result of the final reaction is that silver ions are deposited on the glass,” explained Catterall. “This was an early chemical method of producing mirrors, and it makes for lovely uneven silver deposits on the balls for a handmade ornament. This is a lab we have done in chemistry for the last decade. It works well because it combines arts and crafts with chemical reactions.” Read more