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Grade 10 Chemistry Tie Dye
Posted 05/01/2018 12:00PM

What's the most exciting day of 10th Grade? It's Ring Day, of course! After decorating the school the night before, getting little to no sleep and being hyped up on sugary candy, the students are still expected to attend school and learn. So, how do we get the students to be academically motivated on Ring Day? We do T-Shirt Chromatography! This is a chemistry version of tie-dye where we take Sharpie markers, which are supposed to be permanent, and expose them to rubbing alcohol. Sharpies are permanent in water but not in rubbing alcohol. This is because the polarity of Sharpies and water are different. Because of the fact that "like dissolves like," the water cannot dissolve the Sharpies. The Sharpies are nonpolar and the water is very polar. So, we have to use rubbing alcohol, which is only slightly polar. The slightly polar rubbing alcohol can partially dissolve the Sharpies and allow them to move across a medium, the t-shirt. Because the rubbing alcohol isn't fully nonpolar, it won't completely dissolve the markers, allowing for the cool tie-dye effect on the t-shirts. What makes this even cooler is the fact that anyone can do this at home!

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