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chemistry

This category contains 30 posts

Toasted marshmallows: A delicious scientific treat

As summer starts up so do campfires and toasted marshmallows. So what gives a golden brown, melty marshmallow its amazing flavour? What makes them puff up? And why isn’t a burnt one as sweet anymore? Let’s start with the ingredients of a marshmallow. A marshmallow is around 50% air. This actually starts to answer our … Continue reading

What kind of change is it?

A friend of mine had a disagreement with some colleagues at a pd session. My friend correctly asserted that when you put ice into a blender for a smoothie, the ice does not undergo a state change, except for some minor melting due to heat from friction. The ice will melt as the smoothie warms … Continue reading

Save our brains!

I’ve heard about the challenges of indoor air quality a few times. I’ve worked in buildings that had reputations as sick buildings. And oh my word, I’ve been questioning the quality of my home air since moving to working from home. While there are factors that impact our indoor air quality that are independent of … Continue reading

The science of creating the perfect dyed Easter egg

I thought I’d do a little experiment to check out how vinegar or a weak acid affects dying eggs with food colouring. The recipe I’ve seen most often is a teaspoon of vinegar in a cup of water so I used this recipe, but I added two other tests: just water and half water and … Continue reading

How does soap work?

I’m purposefully choosing to write about topics that aren’t specific to the biology and epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, ie., the virus that causes coronavirus-19) for a few reasons. First, I typically post once or twice a week but things with this virus are changing daily so I won’t be able … Continue reading

#WomeninScience and Cyanobacteria have sunscreen

In light of today being the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I went searching for research done by a women to profile today. I decided to start close to home and look through the biology department at the University of Alberta (U of A) where I did my undergrad and did not … Continue reading

Mini post: Ice rinks and asthma

When I was diagnosed with asthma as a kid, I remember someone saying that it wouldn’t go away unless I stopped skating because of the air quality in rinks. I was wondering what the research on this is. Rundell (2004) found that the pulmonary function, basically how well a person breaths, of a group of … Continue reading

What are the differences between the blade of a hockey skate and a figure skate?

I grew up figure skating, but I am also very comfortable on a pair of hockey skates. (Please don’t call them women’s vs men’s as this perpetuates stereotypes that just aren’t true.) When I taught learn-to skate lessons I was often asked about the differences between the two types of skates and when this question … Continue reading

Magic Mondays: Oobleck

I wrote a post a while ago that you can read about non-Newtonian fluids so I’m just going to give you the potion recipe here. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue magic Mondays on a weekly basis. It might become a monthly thing instead. But you can still download the potions book and … Continue reading

Magic Mondays: Density and a Time Jar

Our third Magic Mondays post before Christmas. Remember you can get all the potions plus a muggle reference guide for $5 CA and help support science education. The muggle reference guide includes additional questions and ideas to support critical thinking. Actual Recipe Water Giant Squid Slime Leprechaun Elixir Dehydrated Doxy Venom Directions The Science Behind … Continue reading

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