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Materials: 2 clear glasses, very cold water, hot water, glow stick.

Procedure:  Pour cold water into one glass and hot water into the other.  Activate your glow stick.  Place the glow stick in the hot water and observe for about a minute.  What happens?  Now place the same end of the glow stick into the cold water and observe.  What happens?  Keep moving the stick back and forth to experiment.

The Science:  The glow sticks we used in our experiment today glow because of a chemical reaction. This type of glow is called “chemoluminescence.” To create the chemical reaction, the glow sticks have two different liquids inside: one liquid is contained in a glass vial while the other liquid surrounds the glass vial.  Both are encased in the plastic stick.  When you bend the plastic, you break open the glass vial, causing the two liquids to mix together. The result is a chemical reaction that produces light.  The light will continue to glow as long as the chemical reaction continues to occur.  When you warm up the stick, the chemical reaction speeds up, causing the glow straw to glow brightly.  When you cool down the stick, the chemical reaction slows down, causing the glow to dim.  This explains what was happening in our experiment; it also explains why glow sticks last longer when you put them in the freezer!




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