How does a glow stick work?
- Students alter the chemical reaction to attempt to change duration and brightness of the reaction
This lab, developed by the American Chemical Society through grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), explores chemical reactions that release energy in the form of light, known as chemiluminescence. Teachers begin with a demonstration that uses a luminol mixture and oxidizer to start a chemical reaction that glows.
Students will then conduct an experiment to see how the amount of oxidizer affects the brightness and duration of the light. Students will also add a fluorescent highlighter dye to the reaction to see how this affects the brightness and duration of the glow. Additionally, they will learn about the invention of the glow stick and relate their experience to how a glow stick works.