Q: Another question for Potions supervisor: If possible, can you give examples or a list of the liquids that students will need to distinguish using viscosity, pH, and color?

A: Students will not have to identify the exact liquid used, but rather explain what liquid is an acid or base using the pH. I suggest working with liquids around the house.

Coaching Potions


Hi there, I’d signed up for the potions coach position. I wasn’t able to make the meeting on Wednesday as I was traveling for work (my wife did and did her best to fill me in). I’ve read the Powerpoint and the event description, which all seem clear; however I was wondering if there was any sort of coaching guide/schedule as to how to prepare the kids – It’s been a long time since I did chemistry and a basic schedule or guides would go a long way towards helping me prepare the children.


Thank you for your question! I know how difficult it is to plan lectures and find the best way to reach kids. Unfortunately, I do not provide a schedule of lessons. It is ultimately up to you in how you want to design your lessons. I find that including a lecture and a lab has been helpful in keeping students engaged.


Will students be asked to dust objects for fingerprints?
Also, will students have to use a microscope at any time to identify physical features of substances?


Thank you for your questions. Students will not need to dust items for fingerprints. Students will be expected to identify the type of fingerprint from a full print. Also, students will not be given a microscope. Observations will be conducted without any instruments (i.e. microscopes, magnifying glass etc).

Potions Q&A; Periodic Table

There is a new file available on the Potions event page with the periodic table.

Some notes from the January 29 coach workshop:

1) The different point distribution does not mean the number of experiments will increase during the exam (usually 2-4 experiments), but rather the weight of the experiment and follow-up questions will be larger.

2) Powders that will be tested in the exam are likely to be powders available in every household (i.e. baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt, sugar, etc.) Students should be able to differentiate between each powder.

3) There are multiple types of colloids including sol, emulation, foam, and aerosol. I do not expect students to name the subclass of colloids (other than emulsions), but be able to identify if I gave an example like smoke or cheese as a colloid. I found this link to be helpful https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Physical_and_Theoretical_Chemistry_Textbook_Maps/Supplemental_Modules_(Physical_and_Theoretical_Chemistry)/Physical_Properties_of_Matter/Solutions_and_Mixtures/Colloid

4) Example of clean up instructions. (Specifics have been replaced with ‘XXXX’)


  • Continue to wear your gloves and goggles during clean-up.
  • Leave all liquids in the rack on your workbench.
  • Discard bags containing XXX, XXXX, or XXXX into the garbage.
  • Discard all weigh boats, spatulas, transfer pipets, pH strips into the garbage.
  • Periodic Tables and pH scales should remain at your workstation.
  • Remove your gloves and discard in the garbage.
  • Leave goggles at your work station if you did not bring your own.
  • Raise your hand when you are finished. Your test will be collected, your workstation will be inspected, and you will be dismissed.

5) The Basic Bohr Model of an element will not be graded on location of electrons, but the number of electrons in the appropriate shells (rings).