Displacement in year 8

No, not the students. We’re still here, ensconced in the science lab, but we had fun displacing metals from their salts. We put a piece of zinc metal into blue copper sulphate solution and found that, in no time at all, the zinc turned orange. We had made copper! Patrick accidentally left his aluminium spatula in there as well, and that turned orange too, but we had an interesting discussion as to why.(Aluminium is more reactive than copper and also easily kicked out the weaker metal from it’s salt.)

Then, even more exciting, we made silver! We used boring old white silver nitrate crystals, added water and popped in a piece of copper. The copper, this time being the big butch metal of the two, easily displaced the weak silver and left beautiful crystals of silver hanging off the copper. How cool is that? Some of the students did ask if they could melt it down into a nugget and sell it. Mercenaries!

Here is our silver “growing ” on the copper coil  in the dish,


and some pictures of a game we played to practice displacement reactions with real element samples.

8DP wait to see what is being called to go in the “beaker” marked out in the middle of the lab.


Caitlin and Sophie place combining elements in the “beaker”


and Seb mimics a displacement reaction.