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Age 10-11 Science Experiment – Water Electrolysis!

Our homeschooled children have been experimenting! The students aged 10-11 used electricity to split water into its two elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Although the oxygen remain dissolved, they saw evidence of the hydrogen ions. This process is called Water Electrolysis.

When students hook up the wires, electricity flows in a loop from the battery, down one of the pencils, through the water, then up the other pencil and back to the battery. The electricity actually breaks the water molecules apart into it parts — hydrogen and oxygen! They discovered bubbles! Those bubbles on the tips of the pencils are the hydrogen and oxygen gas created by this reaction. In fact, hydrogen gas is created at one of the pencils, and oxygen gas is created at the other. The students watched very closely, to be able to see that more bubbles are forming on one pencil than the other. That’s because of the “2” in the name “H2O”. When a water molecule splits, you end up with 2 hydrogens for every oxygen, so you see more hydrogen bubbles than oxygen bubbles!

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