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Experiment to show: That oxygen is in air

Science Curriculum Ref: Grade: 7 Topic: 8 Subject: Chemistry Air

Resources List: Container, 500ml water bottle, candle, matches (see additional notes for a variety of ways to carry this out) Objectives: To show things burn in air Air contains a gas which lets things burn That 1/5th or 20% of air contains oxygen gas That most of the air is not oxygen (4/5 or 80%) Science Information: Substances need oxygen to burn (process called combustion). When a substance burns it uses the oxygen in the air and produces carbon dioxide and water as waste products. However, the substances produced join of one of the many cycles we find in nature. Carbon dioxide (and water) is used by green plants for photosynthesis. In doing so they release oxygen into the air. In this way the balance of gases remains more or less the same. This activity does not identify any other gases in the air e.g. Nitrogen and the Noble gases which figure in this topic (7 Yr8 Air and air pollution) Science Words used: Air The invisible gas all around us Oxygen One of the gases in air Burning When a material sets on fire Combustion The name of the chemical process when a fuel combines with oxygen. Oxidation See extra science info. Consolidation activities:

1. Explain why the candle goes out? 2. Explain why the water level rises in the container. 3. The water level rises 1/5th up the container. What does this tell you?

4. How would you put out a small fire at your house? Explain why these put the fire out. 5. Find out what other gases are in air. 6. If combustion uses oxygen explain why we never run out. 7. Explain why the air does not get more and more carbon dioxide which would eventually kill us! 8. What do you think will happen if we continue to cut down our forests and burn more and more fuel

How to do the experiment / activity:

Air Water

Air Container Candle Water container

Fix The candle to the container using wax or a smaller one floating on

a cork or mall plastic cup Place the air container over the candle and hold until candle goes out. (The air container needs to be very slightly raised in the water) To see how far the water level has risen gently lift the air container to the top of the water but do not take it out and mark it with a pen. Compare it with the whole volume of the container (Extra note: Any container may be used however, a narrow tube like container works the best as the rise in water level will be easier to measure)

Additional information about air: Combustion is a process which uses oxygen. In chemistry there are other processes which use oxygen and can also be called OXIDATION. So, burning and combustion are also oxidation reactions. It is important to point out that photosynthesis replaces the oxygen used by combustion (by other processes and by us in respiration). This process can be summarise by word equations: Carbon + Water Dioxide or, Fuel + Oxygen Carbon + Water Dioxide (Energy transfer from chemical potential into heat and light) Candle + Air

At a higher level these reactions are part of a series called REDOX (which comes from two processes occurring at the same time REDuctionOXidation)