Hero and Villain - some fun facts about dry ice/carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide plays a very important role: plants and animals depend upon it for life. Through the process of photosynthesis carbon dioxide in the air is combined with water in plants to make sugar, the sugar in then converted to starch and cellulose. Animals eat the plants and in getting energy from the food, they produce carbon dioxide and return it to the air as they breathe.
Did you know that on average we breathe out about 1kg of carbon dioxide gas every day?
Carbon dioxide is one of the main gases responsible for global warming. (The dry ice used in the science pack comes from re-cycled source and so we are not damaging the environment…)
Check out the fire extinguishers in the classroom – chances are one of them will contain CO2. With the Chillistick Science pack it is possible to demonstrate how CO2 puts out flames.
Carbon dioxide gives fizzy drinks their bubble!
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. At atmospheric pressure it exists as a solid at -79˚C. Dry ice changes from a solid to a gas without passing through a liquid phase, this phenomenon is called sublimation (and this is why it is called ‘dry’ ice!) Dry ice allows us to understand some of the properties of CO2. Dry ice is used to keep medicines and perishable foods cold and in many engineering applications.
The Science Of Dry Ice In The Classroom
Dry ice demonstrations illustrate some scientific principals in a visual and fun way which we think helps children engage in science. From making instance ice cream to powering water rockets and from making loud bangs to blackcurrant flavoured clouds – it’s great for bringing science to life! Experiments now cover statutory and non-statutory elements of the national curriculum - see school packs top left for details.
You can get free downloads showing how dry ice can be used in the classroom to illustrate scientific principles by clicking on the images above left and then registering. There’s also lots of information about using dry ice safely in education and you can see our videos of dry ice in action!