Explore 6th Graders Celebrate Chemistry Week with Ms. Cynthia Reyes, BASF Corp.

(October 26, 2018–Jersey City, NJ) To celebrate Chemistry Week, Explore parent and Human Resource Specialist for BASF Corporation, Cynthia Reyes, met with the 6th­grade students to complete a lab experiment.

The students participated in a “Chemistry Caper” challenge where they learned about a simple chromatographic process that is used to separate the components of a compound substance. The lab experiment involved carrying out a chromatographic separation of different markers in isopropyl alcohol and water.

The students were able to examine the composition of various brands of felt tip markers from different manufacturers that were identical in color. The students were to solve a mystery by comparing the markers different chromatograms to discover which marker made the “mystery mark.”

The students reviewed what chemistry is and the states of matter and were told to be both a scientist and a detective. Thanks to the generosity of the BASF Corporation, each student was given a bag containing scientific lab gear such as an apron, notebook, and scientific goggles.

Ms. Reyes and students presented a crime scenario and students were required to solve the mystery with their lab partner. The suspects involved in the case used four different types of black markers: Crayola, Best, Expo, and Sharpie. Students were required to use the mark to draw a line on a piece chromatography paper and place the strip of paper in either isopropyl alcohol or water. Through this experiment, students were able to witness and examine the chromatographic process of each marker and they were able to solve the crime.

“I thought it was cool that the marker’s ink changed colors. I really wasn’t expecting the black markers to change to different colors when they were dipped in the alcohol and water. I thought Ms. Reyes was really nice and I thought it was cool that one of my best friend’s parents works for a really cool company, BASF, “Gabriel Marandino shared.

6th grade Science teacher, Ms. Mary Norcia was excited to be part of the day’s activities and proud of the students’ work. “The students were very engaged in the lab experiment and were able to feel and be like real scientists. It was very gracious of BASF and Ms. Reyes to donate her time to working with the students and allow them to participate in an exciting experiment for chemistry week. This is something that all of the 6th graders will always remember and they will be apply their knowledge of the experiment to real-world applications.”

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