Recently, I talked about demonstrating firework effects using common salt compounds available in our chemistry laboratory. These compounds can also be used to make other exciting science activities like the COLOURFUL CRYSTAL GARDEN.
This is a simple, but exciting practical/demo that teachers can do in the laboratory. Again, just be careful with the salt compounds for they maybe corrosive, irritant, or toxic. Before you start, you need to secure the following things:
SODIUM SILICATE ( commonly called WATER GLASS)
- nickel nitrate
- calcium chloride
- lead nitrate
- copper sulphate
- manganese chloride
- cobalt chloride
- iron chloride
GLASS JAR (preferably with LID)
100 ml BEAKER
WHITE FINE SAND
- Measure out 100ml of sodium silicate using the beaker, and pour it carefully into the glass jar. Wash the beaker right away.
- Add 400ml of water to reduce the concentration and stir it thoroughly using a glass rod.
- Put a layer of white fine sand and wait until all the particles settle down the bottom of the jar.
- Slowly, using the spatula tip different coloured salt into the mixture and wait them start to grow into a beautiful crystal garden.
- The reaction depends upon the concentration of the mixture. The higher the concentration, the faster the reaction of the compounds.