Big thanks to Dr. Denisha Dawson (Chemistry Professor at Merced College, SFCS bo…

Big thanks to Dr. Denisha Dawson (Chemistry Professor at Merced College, SFCS board member, and mom) who recently brought some chemistry to the SFCS campus. Dr. Dawson showcased a thermite reaction on the blacktop for all the students to see. It involved igniting a mixture of aluminum and ferric oxide in a little clay pot. A blow torch gets the reaction started, but the majority of the heat is produced by the compounds in the pot. So much heat is produced that sparks fly out of the top and bottom and the iron drops to a container below. As you might guess, this is a favorite experiment for students of all ages, including at the college. The thermite reaction is used in welding and is one of the most exothermic (heat producing) reactions known. Dr. Dawson followed this up the next day by leading 7th and 8th graders through a rotation of six experiments that got them thinking about physical versus chemical change, exothermic versus endothermic reactions, along with an introduction on how to write chemical equations. Students loved the hands on lessons.


Chemistry experiments!
Big thanks to Dr. Denisha Dawson (Chemistry Professor at Merced College, SFCS board member, and mom) who recently brought some chemistry to the SFCS campus. Dr. Dawson showcased a thermite reaction on the blacktop for all the students to see. It involved igniting a mixture of aluminum and ferric oxide in a little clay pot. A blow torch gets the reaction started, but the majority of the heat is produced by the compounds in the pot. So much heat is produced that sparks fly out of the top and bottom and the iron drops to a container below. As you might guess, this is a favorite experiment for students of all ages, including at the college. The thermite reaction is used in welding and is one of the most exothermic (heat producing) reactions known. Dr. Dawson followed this up the next day by leading 7th and 8th graders through a rotation of six experiments that got them thinking about physical versus chemical change, exothermic versus endothermic reactions, along with an introduction on how to write chemical equations. Students loved the hands on lessons.