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Separating with Chromatography


Source Institutions

    Mount Holyoke College

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Separating with Chromatography

In this experiment, learners separate different types of molecules in marker inks (using a technique called "thin layer chromatography"). Learners mark dots at the bottom of a strip of paper (stationary phase) and put the paper into a cup of water (liquid mobile phase) to see how the inks separate. The experiment is repeated with more colors, then mixtures of colors. The final investigation is to figure out who took a cookie, by analyzing the ink used to write a note left in the cookie jar, and comparing the ink to markers taken from two suspects. The activity is written as part of a kit, but can be done without the kit.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • 1 
paper
 plate
  • 1 
bottle
 of 
Isopropyl
 alcohol 
91%
  • 1 
plastic
 cup
  • 1
 piece
 of 
paper 
labeled: 
I 
took 
the
 cookie, 
cat
  • 1
 piece
 of 
paper;
 blank
  • 4
 crayola 
markers
  • 1
 black 
pen
  • 3
 blue
 pens
  • 1
 red 
pen
  • water

Subjects


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories


  • Crime Science

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Shaw, Maisie; Gomez, Maria

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Passport to Chemistry Adventure Program, Mount Holyoke College, ©2010

Funding Source:

  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

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