A. Reactivity of five different Metals

B. Aim:

To see which of the five metals, iron, aluminum, copper, magnesium and zinc react the most when they are put into acid (hydrochloric acid).

C. Variables Table

What is the Variable?
How? (Will you manipulate? Control it?)
Independent Variable
  1. The type of metal.
  1. First the iron will be put into the acid then aluminum, copper, magnesium and last, zinc
Dependent Variable
  1. Use a balloon
  2. Take photos &film
  1. We will put a balloon over the tube to see which one blows the balloon more.
  2. Kyung Hyea will film/take photos.
Controls/ Constants
  1. Same jobs
  2. Amount of acid water &metal
1. Kyung Hyea will be filming.
1. Bao will be putting the metal in and the balloon on top of it.
2. 5ml of acid water & 0.5gof each metal

D. Hypothesis

We think if iron, aluminum, copper, magnesium, zinc is put into acid water then the order of the reactivity would be Magnesium, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Aluminum(from most reactive to least reactive) because the bottom left corner is the area with the most reactive elements and we think that the closer it is to this corner the more reactive it will be, so the order is the order of which one is closer to the bottom left corner.

E. Equipment

  • 25ml of hydrocloric acid water
  • 0.5g of powder iron
  • 0.5g of powder aluminum
  • 0.5g of powder copper
  • 0.5g of powder magnesium
  • 0.5g of powder zinc
  • camera
  • 5 balloons
  • petri dish
  • scale
  • graduated cylinder
  • pippette
  • 6 test tubes

F. Method

1. Gather all equipments
2. Use a pippette to pour 5ml of acid water first into a graduated Cylinder and then into the test tube
3. Measure 0.5g of powder iron with a scale and put it on a petri dish
4. Put the solid iron into the acid water
5. Cover the top of the tube with a balloon (must be done very quickly)
6. Film/take pictures/observe
7. Write down the observation
7. Go over steps 2~7 with other solids.

G. Diagram of Apparatus


H. Observation

Qualitative Observations of the Reactivity of Five Different Metals
Qualitative Observations
Video Links
Most to least
- Lots of bubbles rising
- Balloon not doing anything

- Doesn't mix with acid.
- All stuck at the top of the tube
- Balloon not doing anything

- Some sink &some float at the top
- Doesn't mix or react

- Lots of bubbles rising
- The tube feels warm
- The balloon grew bigger

- Lots of bubbles
- Balloon grew bigger
- Solid sinks at first then slowly at first then slowly rises.

J. Conclusion

By looking at the results, out of 5 solid magnesium was the most reactive was magnesium, then zinc, iron, copper and aluminun.The results did support our hypothesis because the order from most reactive to less reactive was magnesium, zinc, iron, cooper and aluminum.

There are results from an experiment that is similar to our experiment at" http://www.nelsonthornes.com/secondary/science/scinet/scinet/reaction/react/metal.htm.
In their experiment they only tested 3 metals. Magnesium, Zince and Copper. They also found out that magnesium was the most reactive, then come zinc and copper. In out experiment we had more different type of metals, but our results for the same 3 that they have was the same.
In conclusion, our theory comes back to our hypothesis. We have stated that the element that is closer to the bottom left coner is more reactive, in the end the results showed that this was true. After some further reaseach, we found out "
reactivity of an element is depends on its position in the periodic table(Nelsonthornes)". They have a diagram of the periodic table that show the reactivity diffence:

external image C:%5CUsers%5Cvnqbao%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_image001.png
Reactivity and the periodic table
"Periodic table that shows reactivity." Nelsonthornes. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec.
2009. <http://www.nelsonthornes.com/secondary/science/scinet/scinet/

Not only the reactivity of an element is measured by the placement in the periodic table, it depeneds on its electrons. The more energy level it has the more reactive it is.

K. Evaluation


You couldn’t really say that the data collected is reliable because the experiment was only carried our once. But if it was done more than once with several trials then maybe it could have been reliable.


The method wasn’t very valid because there were a lot of weaknesses. If there were a lot of weaknesses while performing the experiment then it probably means that the method wasn’t clear enough and isn’t valid to follow.

3. Weaknesses and improvements


4. Reason for fair test

We think this was a fair test because there were too many weaknesses. we think that because, since we had to design out our own lab it was hard for us to forget even the smallest details and make then fair. If the weaknesses we had were minor ones then it would be ok but the weaknesses we had were quite important ones that could probably have changed the result of the experiment.


Reactivity and the periodic table
"Periodic table that shows reactivity." Nelsonthornes. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec.
2009. <http://www.nelsonthornes.com/secondary/science/scinet/scinet/