On Monday, December 9, 2013, Phil Palko will bring 40 of his Indiana Area High School chemistry students to Weyandt Hall to run experiments and present research posters.
Palko, a chemistry teacher at IAHS, brings his students annually to Weyandt for a day of college-level experiments in Department of Chemistry’s general chemistry labs. In addition to morning and afternoon experiments, the high school students will present research posters from 11:00 a.m.–noon in Weyandt 101 and 102 based on their “air bag” experiments.
The air bag experiment involves the theories of gas laws and reaction stoichiometry, whereby students are to create a model automobile safety air bag. Rather than using sodium azide (found in real air bags), students must use a Ziploc-style quart bag that will hold sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and an acid in some type of trigger mechanism. The bags will not inflate until triggered by the student, and the bags must fully inflate quickly without bursting.