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Middle School Science Project : Steps 1 – 4

1. Brainstorm: Science Projects - Splitting **Water**H2O

ElectrolysisWhat does `electrolysis` mean?
In chemistry, electrolysis is the decomposition of a chemical compound by an electrical current.
Electricity is "created" when certain chemicals react together. We use chemically- made electricity to power many machines from flashlights to a watch or sometimes a car. Yes, there are cars that run on electricity! The devices that store electricity are called batteries. Electricity can also be used to produce chemical changes.

Water is a simple chemical made from two gases -- hydrogen and oxygen. Every molecule of water has two atoms of hydrogen for every atom of oxygen. H2O is the chemical formula for a molecule of water.

If an electrical current is passed through water between electrodes (the positive and minus poles of a battery), the water is split into its two parts: oxygen and hydrogen. This process is called electrolysis and is used in industry in many ways, such as making metals like aluminum. If one of the electrodes is a metal, it will become covered or plated with any metal in the solution. This is how objects are silverplated.

You can use electricity to split hydrogen gas out of the water similar to the process called electrolysis
Science Projects - **Splitting Water**Hydrogen electrolysis is the process of running an electrical current through water (H2O) and separating the hydrogen from the oxygen. Hydrogen electrolysis has met commercial resistance in the past but much of that resistance is now fading. Hydrogen electrolysis now offers much hope for making real the dream of hydrogen cars running upon the hydrogen highways of the world.
A chemical reaction in which water reacts with a compound to produce other compounds; involves the splitting of a bond and the addition of the hydrogen cation and the hydroxide anion from the water
Chemistry:Chemistry is the branch of science which deals with the properties,composition and the structure of matter.It is also deals with the changes in matter and the principles which govern these changes. For my topic i will be splitting water in to hydrogen and oxygen. the branch of science for my project is chemistry .chemistry deals with the properties,composition and the structure of matter. electrolysis,hydrolysis and chemistry. Electrolysis a process ofrunning an electical current through water and separating hydrogen from oxygen.
external image oxygen.gifexternal image splitH2O.gif

Having trouble with ideas try here: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/recommender_register.php?isb=cmlkOjE0MjE4MDEsc2lkOjA
how much water can soil hold?
  • 3. Research the question. Use at least 3 Internet and print resources.
  • In your research report you must include:
  • The branch of science your idea or question fits into.
  • Provide a brief description of this branch of science.
  • Identify the key vocabulary terms and key scientific ideas to investigate.
  • In your own words, explain these scientific terms and concepts.
  • Be sure to keep proper citations of the material you use.

Resources for ResearchKathy Shrock's


4. Try to design the question so that it seeks new answers (beyond what the research shows):
This will be the problem you are going to investigate in the experiment.
Be sure to see the "Topics to Avoid section in the resource above.

Project Proposal Form:

What materials will I need?
  1. A 9 volt battery
  2. Two regular number 2 pencils (remove eraser and metal part on the ends)
  3. Salt
  4. Thin cardboard
  5. Electrical wire
  6. Small glass
  7. Water

Do I need any special equipment?no i do not need any special equipment.
Where will I perform this experiment?at school.
Will I need any special assistance to perform this experiment?no i do not need any special assistance to perform this experiment.
Are there any safety issues involved ?yes there is only one safety issues involved and that is getting shocked by electricity.

Middle School Science Project : Steps 5 & 6

5. Define the variables in the experiment question: What are all the things that could affect the outcome of your experiment?
there is one thing that could affect the outcome of my project is if the salt is not sturred fully.
the amount of salt, water, the flow of electricity, the space between the pencils, how long the pencils are and how big the cup is.

Independent(Manipulated) Variable:

(What variable you changed?)
The amount of salt I use.

Controlled Variables (if applicable): What variables do you plan to keep the same( control) ?
The amount of water, the space between the pencils and how long the pencils are.

Dependent Variable: (A dependent variable is a variable dependent on another variable: the independent variable. In simple terms, the independent variable is said to cause an apparent change in, or simply affect, the dependent variable.)
The flow of electricity.

6. Formulate a hypothesis that predicts the outcome of the experiment:
Help on how to formulate a hypothesis. Write your hypothesis in the space below.

Remember it must be stated so that it is testable. Use an if... then ... statement if appropriate.

I perdict that if i add too much salt the experiment will not work.

Hypothesis: for my hypothesis the experiment will probably

Middle School Science Project : Steps 7 - 11

7. Design the experiment so that it tests the research question. This will be your procedure.
Ideas to consider as you design and conduct your experiment.

how much salt will be enough to get the electricity flowing through the water?

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Sharpen each pencil at both ends.
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. cut the cardboard to fit over glass.
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Push the two pencils into the cardboard, about an inch apart.

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Dissolve about a teaspoon of salt into the warm water and let sit for a while. The salt helps conduct the electricity better in the water.
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Using one piece of the electrical wire, connect one end on the positive side of the battery and the other to the black graphite (the "lead" of the pencil) at the top of the sharpened pencil. Do the same for the negative side connecting it to the second pencil top.
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Place the other two ends of the pencil into the salted water.

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As the electricity from the battery passes through and between the electrodes (the pencils), the water splits into hydrogen and chlorine gas, which collect as very tiny bubbles around each pencil tip.

Hydrogen collects around the cathode and the chlorine gas collects around the anode.

How can you get chlorine from H2O? Good question! Sometimes in experiments, a secondary reaction takes place. This is what happens in this experiment.

Oxygen is not given off in this experiment. That's because the oxygen atoms from the water combine in the liquid with the salt to form hydroxyl ions. Salt's chemical formula is NaCl - sodium chloride. The chlorine gas is from the chloride in the salt. The oxygen in the hydroxl ions stay in the solution. So, what is released in this reaction is not oxygen but is chlorine gas that collects around the pencil tip. Around the other pencil is hydrogen gas.

In real electrolysis systems, a different solution is used, and higher levels of electricity help to split the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen without this secondary reaction.

8. Conduct the experiment.



9. Create tables and graphs that summarize your observations and data.

Try to isolate the independent and dependent variables. Using the independent and dependent variables as column headings could do this on a data table. Putting the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis could do this on graphs. Be sure to conduct analysis of the data such as mean, median, and range.

10. Use the tables and graphs to find trends or patterns in the data. Look especially at the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Did changing the independent variable have and effect on the dependent variable?

11. Use the experiment data to answer the experiment question, to draw conclusions, and to determine the need for any future investigations of similar questions. What patterns or trends did the data show? How strong is the relationship between the independent and dependent variable? Were you able to answer the experiment question? Did your experiment have any problems or did the data contain any errors?
How could this data be used to help others, to advance understanding of things, or to solve some problem? Who could use this information in the real world? How could this experiment be improved upon or advanced?

Middle School Science Project : Steps 12

12. Write a lab report about the experiment. It should follow the standard lab report format to include the following sections in this order.

Title Page
Table of Contents
Introduction (Include background, experiment question, and hypothesis.)
Materials and Methods (What was needed? How was the experiment
conducted? Be clear and detailed enough that someone else could replicate
the experiment. Use diagrams or images to show the set up of materials.)
Results (Include raw data, data tables, data analysis, graphs, images of results.)
Discussion (What happened? How did it compare to what was expected?
What interference or errors occurred? Could the experiment be improved?)
Conclusion (Summarize the results and explain the relationship between the
variables. Support findings with specific data. Discuss application of the

Acknowledgements (Credit any individuals or organizations that have provided
assistance during the project.)

1.Put 1500ml of water in the container. 2.add 5ml of salt at a time. 3.stur salt into water. 4.turn up electricity up to 5V. 5.there is more bubbles coming from one pencil than the other. 6.make shore that the mechinem is pluged in. 7.make shore that the cords are atacted to the pencis.