Friday, November 6, 2015

SVE visits Chemistry!

This week students at PHS came together to better educate each other about the dangers of mixing household chemicals.  AP Chemistry and Chem Club members led a discussion and several lab experiments, showing Mrs. Brown's SVE classes various reactions between acids, bases, and metals.   SVE stands for Specialized Vocational Education.  Students in this program learn about various jobs as well as skills they will need to live independently  Students learn job seeking skills such as filling out an application, taking pre-employment tests, interviewing, completing forms for employment, writing a resume, employer expectations, taxes, banking, budgeting, credit, how to find a home and the costs associated with living independently.   They are also learning those important soft skills needed to be successful in future employment. The SVE program helps students figure out jobs they may not want to do as well through practical experience.  Mrs. Brown thought it would be helpful for the SVE students to learn about some of the dangerous chemicals they might run into at both home and in the work-place.

In the cooperative lab experience with Mrs. Block's Chemistry class, the SVE students learned the following:

1.  Bleach and ammonia make chloroamines which are gases that are deadly and can harm breathing. 
2.  Since ammonia is found in urine, always flush toilets after cleaning them with bleach or it will react with the bleach and form a poisonous gas.
3.  Bleach and acids can cause a release of chlorine gas which was once used as a weapon in WWI.
4.  Always flush before and after using bleach to avoid these interactions.

The SVE students worked in partnership with the Chemistry Club observing reactions between acids and metals as well as bases and metals to show how these mixtures can create a flammable hydrogen gas.  Students trapped and combusted the gas which was very exciting!

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