Chemicals and Chemistry – Special Week


My interaction with chemistry started with h2o and ended with benzene ring. As I became more conscious about my food, I got introduction to chemicals as ‘not good for health’. Somewhere something was missing….special week at Aarohi allowed all of us to come closer to chemicals and chemistry and unreveal the mystery of chemistry and chemicals.

First realization….chemicals are part of our lives and are all around us, its not only periodic tables or chemistry experiments in labs to separate two compounds. Various experiments allowed us to comecloser to those chemicals. Even If we consume Banana, we consume chemicals in some form, lemon brings citric acid in my body….realization chemicals are all around us was reliving. We could make close relationship with them and tried to understand what suits our body and what does not but finally at the end its all about chemicals :). Various experimentation and observations were key in our kitchen chemistry

Session on matter was nothing but WONDERING…. no answers. Why wondering – when you answer you stop, when you wonder you START, Sp lets WONDER.We began with asking – Do you wonder in your life? Group shared most of the time we wonder about something which is not in front of us…..wonder what my friend doing, what is cooked at home, wonder how relationships works…. In wondering session we wondered about things happening in front of me. 45 minutes of session…. We lighted one incense sticks and wondered… the wondering we also added water, spoon, lemon grass, bottle….and together wondered.

Where is the smoke travelling? What’s happening to smoke? What is dissolving, blending, mixing? What is in the smoke? Wonder when it will stop burning? I wonder if I can catch smoke? How long does the smoke last? Why only going in one direction? Can I catch smoke? What is gas? What is liquid? What is water? What is solid? What is molecule? What is cell? What is object? What is atom? What is smallest? What is feeling? What happens when I catch smoke in a box? What happens when I add water? What is hard? What is strong? Why smoke have one color, why it is not blue? Why smoke does not have any sound? What is liquid? Where is this smell coming from? Will this smell always remain? Where will it go? What is air? Do we breathe oxygen or air? What is wind? Why smoke is going up but not coming? down…gravity says everything comes down? How does spoon go through water but not through table? Where is that molecule? Where does salt in water disappear? Does smoke has taste? What is dissolving, melting ? Why is smoke not tasty? Why smoke fly? Why smoke does not make sound? Why bamboo does not fly? Why water does not fly? What is differences? Why Bamboo has shape but smoke does not have shape? Water in the bottle changes its shape but Bamboo? Do we smell lemon grass or we smell molecule? How does the smell comes? How does my nose smell,? What enter my nose? Why it enters when I keep it near my nose? What is smell made up of? How do cloud changes its shape? Did the smoke become cloud? Will we smell of we smell cloud? What is evaporation? What happens in evaporation? How does sun carries water? Why water does not have cut but smoke has colour?

It was difficult for some to wonder, as we are so used to ‘answering’. Well, we continued to wonder :).

During wondering session, two kids used ‘molecules’ word for many explanations. Next day they took a conducted session on molecules…. All ages took part. Session was planned, activities brought for explanations, demonstrations were planned.

Wondering what is musical instruments doing inside session on ‘periodic tables’? We began with exploring different musical instruments …. primarily how each was different because of the metal they were made off…

Children observed that they had different feel, texture, colour, hardness, weight etc other than sound being different.

We wondered what makes them different?

Then explored how they could be different ATOMS or some could be a combination of atoms – hence different molecules (brass).

We explored how each Atom is different (Atomic weight), how electrons are arranged and hence how each atom either wants to give or take electrons or is very stable like Helium.

Ended up looking at the periodic table with some familiar names and some very exotic names.

How do we decide chewing gum is good or bad? Why each pack of orbit says ‘not recommend for kids below 12yrs’? Hmmm…. Something to think. Pondering in thought club.

Who cares about chemical and special week…I have my own agenda….exploring optical tools, giving own names and enjoying.

Quiz club with molecules. While we didn’t know 90% of what was asked, but guessing and clues and helped us to keep our interest and hopes alive. In the process we got introduced to many things related to molecules. It was fun and challenging.

After watching water crystal video we were wondering what thoughts do to our water crystals…..We talked about affirmationsand pondered together “what thought does to us?”