Make & Do Activity Kit

Hot and cold glowsticks
To extend the life of a glow stick people often put them in the freezer. In this experiment we investigate if warming or cooling a glow stick will change how brightly it will glow.

Time: 15 minutes + Difficulty: Hints: This experiment involves using hot water
and it is recommended that these steps are done by an adult. one cup with hot water 1. Fill from the tap. Fill a second cup with cold water from the fridge then add ice cubes. the three 2. Activate glowsticks by bending them. Give them all a shake. Check that they’re all giving a similar glow. one looks weaker it may 3. If need to be bent more to mix up the chemicals inside a little more.

Note: To keep your results accurate and avoid confusion, place your mugs in a row and when you remove the glowsticks from the water place them under the cup they have come from, as shown in step 6.

one glowstick in the 4. Place hot water. Place a second

What you will need:
• iced cold tap water • very hot tap water • 2 tea mugs • 3 glowsticks

glowstick in the iced water. Place the third on the desk.

third glowstick is known 5. The as the control as we are not making changes to it. Wait five minutes for the glowsticks in the cups to react. both glowstick from 6. Remove the cups. Place them beside the control glowstick. Can you see a difference in the amount of glow in each of the sticks?
500 Harris St Ultimo Tel: 02 6217 0111 This work is licensed under the Creative POK346 Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionPO Box Haymarket NSW 1238 Commons Attribution-NonCommercialAustralia Tel: 02 9217 0111 NonCommercial 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU) Australia ShareAlikeLicence 2.5 License.

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Make & Do Activity Kit

Hot and cold glowsticks

Page 2

What else can i do?
A freezer test

What’s going on?
A chemical reaction Inside a glowstick is a solution of chemicals. Floating in this solution is a sealed glass tube containing a different solution of chemicals. When we activate a glowstick, we are breaking open the glass tube and through shaking the glow stick we are mixing the solutions together so that a chemical reaction takes place. Chemiluminescence A chemical reaction results in new chemicals being made inside the glowstick. This reaction also produces light. This production of light has a special name called chemiluminescence. Effects of different temperatures In this experiment the glowstick in the hot water glows much more brightly than the glowstick in the cold water. This is because temperature influences how fast a chemical reaction will occur. The hotter we make the surroundings in which a chemical reaction takes place the faster it will happen. The reverse is also true: the colder we make the surroundings, the slower the reaction. A brighter glow for a shorter time The glow stick in the hot water will glow more brightly, but it will also glow for the shortest time as all glowsticks contain the same amount of chemicals at the beginning of the reaction. Placing a glow stick in the freezer won’t stop the chemical reaction, but it will slow it down.

Test how much very cold temperatures can slow down chemical reactions. Activate 2 glowsticks, place one in the freezer and leave one at room temperature. Leave them overnight, then check them in the morning to see if either glowstick is still glowing. If both are still glowing, repeat the experiment for a couple of hours or until one has stopped glowing. Record your observations and times in the space below.

500 Harris St Ultimo PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia

Tel: 02 6217 0111

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 2.5 License.