Creating heat in the classroom


Mrs. Lauryn Vukas, Science, pours hydrogen peroxide in the beaker to begin her demonstration of the elephant toothpaste reaction. Mrs. Vukas then added potassium iodide as a catalyst to speed up the reaction.

Cherylynn Gholson, Author

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Mrs. Lauryn Vukas’, fifth hour Chemistry class watched a demonstration of an elephant toothpaste lab. Mrs. Vukas thought the students’ reactions unit was the perfect time to present this lab to the class.

“I showed the decomposition reaction of hydrogen peroxide turning to water and oxygen with a potassium iodide catalyst,” Mrs. Vukas said.

This lab was designed to help students put an image to the definition of reactions and catalysts .

“I think when you are able to see a reaction, such as the catalyst, happening it really helps students understand it more,” Mrs. Vukas said.

During Mrs. Vukas’s fourth hour, the class came up with an idea to use a water bottle instead of  a beaker to make the reaction bigger. This curiosity created a new experiment Mrs. Vukas would show to her other chemistry classes.

“We searched different videos on elephant toothpaste experiments and decided to use a water bottle. I believe chemistry is all about experimenting and testing new things,” Mrs. Vukas said.