by Miss Cellania
On a chemistry test at Midpark High School in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, one question concerned how to clean the floor after a chemical-powder spill. In detail, I described the liquid I would combine with the powder in order to dissolve it with chemical bonding and electron transfer. I was pleased with my grasp of molecular structure until the exams were handed back.
Our teacher asked another student to read her answer. She suggested a broom and a dustpan to sweep up the spill -- and got full credit.
During my freshman biology class at North High School in Springfield, Ohio, our teacher was lecturing on the conditions in which bacteria exist.
Elaborating on the acidic environment where certain bacteria thrive, he suggested a simple experiment. "I want you to drop a nail into a glass of Coke or Pepsi, and then observe the acidic reaction on the nail," he said.
The girl sitting next to me raised her hand and asked in all seriousness, "Do you mean a real nail, or a press-on?"
During class, the chemistry professor was demonstrating the properties of various acids. "Now I'm going to drop this silver coin into this glass of acid. Will it dissolve?"
"No sir," one student called out.
"No?" queried the professor. "Perhaps you can explain why the silver won't dissolve in this particular acid."
"Because if it would, you wouldn't have dropped it in!"
This was a story told to us by our chemistry master at school. A female student wished to make some potassium hydroxide solution (aqueous) and decided to throw a large lump of potassium into a bucket of water. Her professor observed what she was about to do, out of the corner of his eye and hurried towards her, and after confirming this was what she was intending to do, asked her first to stir the water in the bucket for five minutes before adding the potassium. She was puzzled and ran after him to ask the purpose of this action.
"It will give me time to get away' said the professor.