Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby conducted a series of science experiments with the Institute of Making’s Zoe Laughlin on one of last week’s episodes of This Morning.
At ReAgent, we believe that STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills are crucial, and will only become more important in the future. Science can be a creative, interesting, and fun subject – and that was proven on one of last week’s episodes of This Morning when Holly and Phil conducted some amazing science experiments.
We were pleased to supply some of the chemicals used in their experiments, and hope that showing how much fun science can be will encourage the next generation to study STEM subjects.
The Elephant Toothpaste Experiment
One of their experiments was making ‘elephant toothpaste’ – or at least, something that looks like toothpaste an elephant might use.
This experiment is a chemical reaction between hydrogen peroxide and a potassium iodide solution. Zoe Laughlin explained, “What we have in these three conical flasks is hydrogen peroxide, which is a very corrosive chemical.” Zoe, Phil and Holly then poured the potassium iodide solution into the flasks, with quick and dramatic results. The potassium iodide instantly removed the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide, producing an effervescent, bubbling foam which leapt more than five metres into the air.
As Phil said, “What you’re about to see – do not try this at home!” (And he’s right, we don’t recommend it). You’ll see that all the presenters are wearing disposable gloves and safety glasses. As oxygen is an element in this reaction, it shouldn’t be attempted near an open flame. The reaction also produces heat, so it’s important not to lean over the flasks, as Phil and Holly were warned.
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