AP Chemistry Students Grow Blue Crystals

Concordia Advanced Placement Chemistry students are investigating factors that affect solubility through crystallization of different chemical substances and how the intermolecular forces between the particles affect the solubility of the substances.

In the lab, students are learning how to make crystalline solids from compounds like sodium chloride, copper sulfate and borax, and testing how different rates of cooling and evaporation affect the sizes of the crystals they will grow. 

Students are also making crystal snowflakes using shaped pipe cleaners, as the increased surface area of the pipe cleaners increases the rate of nucleation - how crystals are formed.  

The Bolt spoke to students about their experiments.

“We’re cooling the copper sulfate to reduce the evaporation rate,” said Dang (G11)

“We evaporate copper sulfate to see the crystals and we made independent trials at different evaporation and cooling rates to see which was most effective,” said Hosung (G12)

“This lab needs a lot of patience and observation, you have to really pay attention to detail,” said Huyen (G12).

“I love the vibrant colors and the crystals we form in the lab. It enhances our understanding of the course material,” said Julia (G12).

“We’re trying to form or grow crystalline solids (crystals) from ionic solids (salt)” said Anh Minh (G11). 

“Some parts of the lab need a lot of time, so I am learning to be patient,” said Soobeen (G11).

Learn more about Concordia’s high school program

Advanced Placement (AP) is a United States program created by the College Board which offers university-level curricula and examinations to high school students. The program is widely recognized by US universities as well as universities throughout the world. Most US universities grant placement and course credit to students who score a three to five on the examinations.

  • HS