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Thermite Reaction

From Teachers TV and part of the Great Lesson Ideas series, this video illustrates how to get students to use their knowledge of the reactivity series. It includes part of an active lesson involving a safe version of the exothermic, thermit reaction.

The classic thermite reaction, between iron oxide and aluminium, is too dangerous to carry out in the school labs, so instead zinc and copper oxide are used. When these two substances are combined and the mixture is ignited, a bright exothermic reaction is the result. Students can observe a chemical reaction taking place, as well as a new substance being made.

Alastair uses this experiment across the year groups at Stocksbridge High School. Safety precautions include ensuring ceramic heat mats are used, safety glasses are worn and the labs are well ventilated to dissipate the smoke produced from the experiment.

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