We had a blast with students from Rickover Naval Academy on Saturday, April 2nd during the Spring STEM Launch event at Truman College. Students became Chemist when they took part in two Chemistry labs where they learned about density, thermodynamics, and kinetics.

In the morning students carefully measured and weighed various sugar solutions and calculated the mass, volume, and density. After writing down the data students went to the computer lab to plot out their data on an Excel work sheet. While most of the students has correct data points on their graph there were some variations. The group discussed that the variation on their charts could have been due to lack of accuracy when measuring the liquid into their beakers. From the computer lab students where given the challenge to layer the various sugar water solutions from most dense to least. Some students were even able to layer higher density solutions in between lower density layers!

Students layering solutions by density

During the second lab students learned about the kinetics of a chemical reaction between starch and iodine. They were given the task of creating 5 different solutions with different amounts of potassium iodate and sodium bisulfite. By doing this the students were able to see how different levels of each concentration would effect the time it would take for the solution to change from clear to blue/black.

Students measuring chemicals needed for the iodine clock reaction

Students and instructors alike had a great time during Spring STEM Launch and can’t wait for Summer STEM Launch where students will be launching a weather balloon. To see a video of the chemical reaction click here.

Gladis Herst

Illinois Tech Program Lead
STEM Launch


Spring STEM Launch: Iodine Clock Reaction