Beyond Benign

High School

CUR HS States of Matter

States of Matter

Chemical or Physical?

This lab replaces traditional reactions involving chemicals such as copper(II) chloride, 6M hydrochloric acid, potassium hydroxide, and copper sulfate. The goal is to use observations of different types of reactions to discover common threads, ultimately leading to conclusions regarding evidence of chemical reactions. Students will ultimately learn the difference between chemical and physical changes and dispel common misconceptions; i.e. boiling water is not a chemical reaction.

Essential Oil Extraction Using Liquid CO2

Students use dry ice to extract essential oils from citrus fruits and evaluate the methods used against the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.


This lab replaces the traditional naphthalene sublimation lab. Students will observe sublimation of caffeine from inexpensive pharmacy tablets and explain the type of change that occurred.