Green Pennies

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In this activity, learners create their own experiment and test which of 4 mixtures of household chemicals turn pennies green over 5 days. This is a great introduction to basic chemical reactions, experiments, and the scientific process. Includes step-by-step instructions, observation & lab journal worksheets, and suggested activity extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 10 small paper or plastic cups (Dixie cups work great)
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • 10 pennies (pre-1982 work best)
  • Paper or fabric towels for accidental spills
  • Drying worksheet
  • Observation worksheet


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Informal Categories

  • Science Festivals Activity


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • , The Tech Interactive, 2020