For our final lesson of Unit 1, we learned about electroplating by watching two short videos. The first shows a garage-style setup with a guy who uses a spork and pickle juice to electroplate a part of his cart project:
The second video was a bit more typical of what we are doing today in class:
For class today, students conducted a live pre-lab, using batteries, alligator clips, zinc strips, copper strips, beakers, and acetic acid (5% vinegar). The purpose was to create an electroplating circuit to visualize the movement of metal from one strip to the other through the acetic acid. Some students integrated a holiday light into their setup to measure current flow between the metal plates. After documenting their experimental design and observing the formation of bubbles (hydrogen gas) and discoloration of one of the metal strips, students reversed the flow of current and made further observations. We will continue our study of electroplating tomorrow.