In Science this term, we are investigating mixtures and solutions in Chemistry. Last week, the students were given a sorting task during which they identified and categorised different mixture separation techniques from photographs.

This week, the students experimented with a variety of separation techniques such as decanting, sieving, magnetic separation, filtering and visual separation in a series of hands-on experiments. They were required to mix a base substance (sand) to another substance and predict what the result would be: a solution or a mixture. They were then asked to choose two techniques to use to try and separate their solution or mixture and to reflect on the effectiveness of their chosen techniques.

It was a messy but very engaging lesson.

Only a few of our substances and tools.

Predicting and recording our hypotheses before starting on the messy part.

Trying some decanting for a mixture of sand and water.

This visual separation technique turned out to be effective but… slow…

Aaaahhh… sand and “iron filings”… what could we use here?

Yes! The magnetic technique was spectacular and very popular as an experiment.

It works so well and so quickly!

Reflection time.