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Piezo Popper Kit NGSS

SKU #HS-2A
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Igniting two drops of alcohol in the film canister will cause the canister to fly more than 20 feet into the air!

Description

These amazing piezoelectric devices generate a few thousand volt sparks at the touch of a button. No batteries required. The discharge is created when a small hammer inside the device strikes a quartz crystal. It can be used as a safety lesson to demonstrate the flammability of alcohol or perfume. Igniting two drops of alcohol in a film canister will cause the canister to fly more than 20 feet into the air! Kit includes piezo igniter, instructions, film canister, wire and butt connector. You provide electrical tape and fuel.

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Video



Lesson Ideas

Download the pdf of this lesson!

Materials Included:

  • 1 Piezoelectric Igniter
  • 1 Lamp cord assembly with metal butt connector
  • 1 Plastic film canister

Other Materials Required:

  • Pair of pliers
  • Electrical tape
  • Flammable liquid such as methanol, ethanol, or perfume
    (DO NOT USE GASOLINE)

A Film Canister Explosion
A film canister attached to a piezoelectric igniter can be used to demonstrate the energy contained in two drops of a flammable liquid. Upon ignition, the film canister travels several feet.

To Construct

  1. Push and twist the 'butt connector' on the wire assembly onto the electrode end of the igniter. Note: pliers may be necessary to twist this connector into place. Tape the adjacent, long exposed bare wire against the long outside wire of the igniter. Use electrical tape to completely cover the bare wires. Starting with the end near the button of the piezoelectric igniter, completely wrap the exposed bare wires with electrical tape. As an option, use heat shrink tubing over the electrical to make for a nice, neat looking apparatus.
  2. Punch a hole in the soft plastic cap of a film canister with a ballpoint pen. Insert the other end of lamp cord through the top of the film canister as shown. The spark gap should be on the inside of the film canister. Do not remove any of the wire insulation, but separate the two strands slightly, ca. 5mm, to insure a proper spark gap.
  3. Test by pushing the button of the piezoelectric igniter. If it is properly assembled, you should see a spark jump a distance of almost a centimeter.

To Use

  1. Add two drops only of a flammable liquid, e.g. ethanol, methanol, acetone, or perfume to the film canister. (Do not use gasoline.) Cap, shake, and warm the canister in your hands. Warning: to avoid a flaming missile, do not use more than two drops.
  2. Warn people that it makes a loud noise, and that they should cover their ears.
  3. Point it away from people and push in the button. The film canister could travels over ten feet!

Acknowledgement: 'Micro Explosions' by Al Definer, The Chemistry Teachers' Club of New York, 1/93

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Reviews

5 reviews
Piezo Poppers
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 20, 2019
Everyone should have a set of piezo poppers for teaching and outreach presentations. I have used these since long before I came to Duke where I have been for 14 years. Piezo wiring is very easy to do. You should have some electrical tape on hand. Simply push the one wire onto the end and lay the other wire on the side making contact with the exposed metal. Use the electrical tape to hold everything together and cover the entire mechanism with the tape, which will also serve as prevention of electrical shock when the apparatus is used. The "antique" film canisters come with the lid, make a hole in the lid; push the wire through this hole. More detailed instructions come with the kit. When using the alcohol as the fuel, it is extremely important that you use only 2 DROPS. Using more will increase the likely hood of the film canister to continue burning as it flies through the air. I was burned when a burning canister hit my neck below my ear. In cool or cold conditions it takes much more time for the alcohol to evaporate, if at all. The cool or cold usually prevents the apparatus from working because an insufficient amount of alcohol has evaporated. We warm the canister with our hands and swirl it using the wire, which helps but it still might not work. Be sure the wire extended inside the canister makes a spark and it is not touching the bottom of the canister. Either condition will cause it not to work. Be the user keeps his/her hand at a good distance from the hole in the lid. We have found that, at times, fire shoots through the hole causing one's hand to be burnt. We always have the user wear goggles or safety glasses, ear protection, and aim the apparatus away from everyone. The kids as well as the adults truly enjoy this activity. It is an excellent example of a combustion reaction. Be careful about stating that it is an example of a complete combustion reaction since it likely is not. Carbon and carbon monoxide are likely among the products produced indicating it is an incomplete combustion reaction. It still is good example that a fuel and oxygen are needed for combustion and that the heated gases (products) create pressure, enough to overcome the friction that holds the lid onto the canister. We have used the piezo igniter for other demonstrations that create a similar explosion but bigger and louder, which I will not go into here.
Kenneth Lyle

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1   0

Great Lab for combustion!
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Dec 11, 2013
Personally, I let all students in pairs use the device. This is a great lab for showing students the fire circle and combustion. One recommendation: I would go to the salon store and buy small sprayer bottles. This allows the liquid to be less dense and vaporize quicker. Any other method is harder for the students to vaporize and they get bored quickly.
Marco

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1   0

Great Item many uses
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Nov 12, 2013
A great item for the my lab has so many uses.
Steven Roberts

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Fun For Everyone
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 29, 2012
This is something that I give to every secondary ed science major that I mentor. It is easy for them to build and provides a lot of excitement in the classroom. We use Binaca breathe spray and warm it in a hand for a few seconds. Works great!
Dan Swartling

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Piezo Popper
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 22, 2012
This item is a MUST HAVE for chemistry class - my students never get tired of it. A liquid drop of alcohol in the container and the spark does nothing. But warm the container with your hands and vaporize some of that alcohol - then the spark ignites the vapor and causes an explosion that thrills every time. This leads into a great class discussion about phase changes and properties of gases that they won't forget.
Connie Goochee

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NGSS

This product will support your students' understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*, as shown in the table below.

Elementary Middle School High School

K-ESS1-4

Students can make observations of a demonstration of the Piezo Popper Kit to understand local weather conditions (thunder and lightning). Students can use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

3-PS2-2

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation to make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.

4-PS3-2

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation to make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

4-PS3-3

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation to ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

DCI-4/PS1.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer.

Energy is present whenever there are moving objects, sound, light, or heat. When objects collide, energy can be transferred from one object to another, typically also transferred to the surrounding air; as a result, the air gets heated and sound produced.

MS-PS1-4

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit to develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

MS-PS1-6

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit to design a project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.

MS-PS2-2

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

MS-PS3-3

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation to apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.

DCI-MS/PS1.B: Chemical Reactions.

Some chemical reactions release energy, others store energy.

DCI-MS/ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions.

A solution needs to be tested, and then modified based on the test results in order to improve it.

HS-PS1-3

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.

HS-PS1-4

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit to develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.

HS-PS1-5

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit in an investigation as evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which the reaction occurs.

HS-PS2-6

Students can use the Piezo Popper Kit to make observations and communicate scientific information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of a material.

DCI-HS/PS1.B: Chemical Reactions.

Chemical processes, their rates, and whether or not energy is stored or released can be understood in terms of the collisions of the molecules and the rearrangements of the atoms into new molecules, with consequent changes in the sum of all bond energies in the set of molecules that ate matched by changes in kinetic energy.

DCI-HS/PS2.B: Types of Interactions.

Attraction and repulsion between electric charges at the atomic scale explain the structure, properties, a transformation of matter, as well as the contact forces between material objects.

Suggested Science Idea(s)

K-ESS1-4

Students can make observations of a demonstration of the Piezo Popper Kit to understand local weather conditions (thunder and lightning). The heating and release of energy, is a tangible simulation of what happens during a thunder and lightning storm.

3-PS2-2
4-PS3-2
4-PS3-3
DCI-4/PS1.B

For younger children a demonstration of the Piezo Popper provides a very visual, loud and active display of physics. Students can use the experience to understand energy, energy transfer, motion, weather and chemical reactions

MS-PS1-4
MS-PS1-6
MS-PS2-2
DCI-MS/PS1.B
DCI-MS/ETS1.B
HS-PS1-3
HS-PS1-4
HS-PS1-5
HS-PS2-6
DCI-HS-PS1.B
DCI-HS-PS2.B

Students can use the Piezo Popper in a number of different investigations that involve combustion. It is safe for the mature students to manipulate and operate. During the operation of the Piezo Popper safety goggles must be worn and supervision from the teacher maintained. Students add two drops only of a flammable liquid, e.g. ethanol, methanol, acetone, or perfume to the film canister. (Do not use gasoline.) Cover with the cap, shake, and warm the canister in your hands. Warn students that it makes a loud noise, and that they should cover their ears. Point it away from people and push the red button of the charger. The film canister could travel over ten feet! Students can learn about and build on their knowledge of chemical reactions, energy, energy transfer, weather, electric currents, and motion.

 

* NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.

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