GEMS Students Make Cents of Science

Target 1 – Student Centered Learning: FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step: Students will engage in personalized learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving, and creative learning opportunities. 


GEMS 8th Grade Science students were learning about chemical reactions and how new molecules can be formed.  To show this they took copper pennies and produced a memento they could keep to remind them of what they have learned. In the first reaction, students ionized zinc and caused the penny to become zinc plated (the silver colored pennies). In the second reaction, they made more zinc plated pennies and then held them over the flame to galvanize them.

Click the image below to see the process:

Galvanizing the pennies took special care, since too much heat would melt the zinc and too little heat would cause the penny to remain unchanged. The student’s were rewarded in the end with brass pennies (the gold colored ones). These pennies were formed by the zinc and copper chemically bonding from the galvanization process.

The students packaged up these pennies and couldn’t wait to show their friends and  families. Hopefully the pennies spark a conversation about chemical change at home.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s