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Electrochemistry Demonstration at LHS

Turning Pennies to Silver and Gold

LHS, Kylie Schlather
Camp Lejeune, NC | December 19, 2013

Mrs. Salcido and students.

Mrs. Salcido and students. | Photo: James Surey

Ms. Salcido, a Science teacher at Lejeune High School, recently  conducted a class demonstration regarding electrochemistry turning copper pennies to silver and gold.

The experiment consisted of a Bunsen burner, some pennies, zinc, and a few chemicals.

The pennies were first electroplated with zinc, which gives the pennies a silver tone.  The class filled a glass with water, zinc and few other chemicals, placed them on the Bunsen burner then dropped the pennies in. 

To turn the pennies gold the electroplated pennies are heated on the Bunsen burner to produce a brass alloy, which is a golden color.  

Cassidy Campbell, a junior at Lejeune HS, said that it was really cool seeing the chemical reactions.  

After 24 hours, depending on the age of the penny, it could turn back to a copper color.

According to Ms. Salcido the lesson will be used when they study oxidation-reduction reactions.

Possible penny outcomes.

Possible penny outcomes. | Photo: James Surey

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