Chemical Reaction Components

A chemical reaction is defined as two or more molecules reacting to create a new compound or change in molecular structure. For a chemical reaction to occur, a chemical change must occur (i.e. start with one molecule and turn it into another). This is achieved by either making or breaking chemical bonds. An example of this is the rusting of steel or bleach removing a stain. It is important to note that a chemical reaction is not the same as a physical change. An example of a physical change is melting an ice cube into a liquid.

Protective eyewear and gloves are required for team members to handling chemicals. Teams not following safe handling and safety procedures will be immediately disqualified. Chemical reaction(s) should not splash outside of the dimensions of the machine. Bystanders and judges must be able to view your machine without having to wear protective eyewear.

The chemical reaction should be simple and safe. Examples of acceptable chemicals to be used in reactions include:

  1. Baking soda,
  2. Vinegar,
  3. Cornstarch,
  4. Dry Ice (with appropriate safety measures),
  5. Borax, OTC Hydrogen Peroxide,
  6. Sugar,
  7. Flour, etc.

Examples of restricted chemicals or reactions include:

  1. Open flames or any fire,
  2. Explosions,
  3. Excessive heat,
  4. Bunsen burners,
  5. Chemicals or compounds created by reactions that cannot be put in the trash or poured down the drain, etc.