Chemistry classes hold White Powder Mystery Lab to test students’ skills

Wrapping up chemistry with a final lab, all regular and honors chemistry students participate in the White Powder Mystery lab. Regular chemistry students received 10 unknown white powders, while honors students received 12. Students were split up into groups of three to four to collaborate and found out the identities of each of the powders given. They had the ability to use all of their skills, knowledge and preparation to work through the lab. 

“It’s interesting because we get to do more experiments during this portion of the lab. So we’re using everything we know about the experiments and conducting them by ourselves,” Eilah Brooks said. 

There are six days in total to work on the WPML. One day was dedicated to researching the procedures, the possible unknown powders and different tests. The following four class periods were for collecting data with each assigned group to attempt to identify the powders. The last day of the lab, on June 1, is dedicated to writing down final thoughts and decisions on the powders. 

Honors chemistry student Arya Trusty highlights how everything she learned from this year helped with uncovering the identities of the white powders. 

“From a student’s perspective, it was hard differentiating the different powders using the many tests that we were allowed to use. I thought this lab helped me a lot in using the knowledge that I acquired throughout this year such as polar or nonpolar and pH,” Trusty said.