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Lesson 3: Rusting Wool

DESCRIPTION
Steel wool is placed in a jar that is inverted over water, causing the steel wool to react with oxygen in the air and form rust.

OBJECTIVE
This activity gives students an understanding of what rust is and how it is formed. It helps them gain a deeper understanding of the composition of air and the earth’s atmosphere.

CONTENT TOPICS
Chemical reactions (oxidation)

Lesson 3: Rusting Wool

DOWNLOAD LESSON PLAN

LIST OF MATERIALS

  1. Shallow dish
  2. Steel wool (size 0000, soap free)
  3. Bendable drinking straw or rubber tube
  4. Wax marker
  5. Toothpicks or wood splints (to prop the jar off of the bottom of the dish)
  6. Tall, slender glass jar or graduated cylinder (clear plastic will also work)

REVIEW GAME

HYPOTHESIS

Steel wool placed in a jar that is inverted over water will react with oxygen to form rust, causing the water level in the jar to rise.