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Science for Kids/Science Experiment on Negative Ions


I'm in 7th grade am thinking about doing my science experiment on ions.  My teacher has never had a student do a project on ions, so he was interested.  He told me to look for experiments other people had done with negative/positive ions, but I haven't found much.  I was wondering if you have any thoughts on an experiment involving the benefits of negative ions and the harmfulness of positive ions.  Thank you.

Hi John,

There are a couple of experiments that you can do that will demonstrate Ions and ion movement,   The first, and I think the best is a plating experiment.  This does not take a lot of equipment nor is it hard to do.  This is an experiment in electro plating.  In this kind of experiment you are moving ions of copper to a zinc landing zone.  The results will be a copper coated zinc object.  

You will need a large 9 volt battery, wire, aligator clips a glass cup or beaker, A strip of pure copper  or a piece of copper pipe 1 inch long and a Quarter.  You will also need a solution of copper sufide in water.  Copper sulfide can be purchased as a fertilizer from plant stores and you disolve some in water.  It only takes a little bit, less then an ounce in a pint of distilled water.

So, from the negative terminal of the battery, attach a wire and the other end of the wire with an alligator clip to the peice of copper.  Dangle this into the cup with the copper sulfide solution.  Then from the other terminal of the battery, attach a wire and at the other end an alligator clip and clip the quarter into it.  then dangle the quarter into the solution.  Ions of copper will move from the copper strip through the solution of copper sulfide to the quarter and put a layer of copper onto the quarter.  

You need to make sure that both the copper strip is very clean and the quarter too, any dirt or oil on them and it will not work.  In about 24 hours you should see the quarter become dull and change color.  This is the copper adhering to the quarter.

Have fun.

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Ralph Salier-Hellendag


Science Fair Judge for many years and experience with robotics, biology, chemistry, industrial processes, metalurgy and metal forming.


Science Fair Judge for many years and have helped several students get to state level competition. Most recently 2 of my students received state level awards and one went on to the nationals in Washington DC.

BA Archaeology - Anthropology
MA Business Anthropology

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