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CAUTION: This project requires strict supervision.

Do you know what arsonists do? They set fire to things. It appears as though brilliant scientists do that, also; however, not in a destructive manner. Believe it or not, burning stuff is a way of learning about it.

Put some sugar in the bottom of a test tube, hold the tube at an angle with special pliers, and heat the sugar slowly over a flame.

You will see a black substance form in the bottom of the tube. What is it? You should recognize it as carbon.

(It seems to this writer that almost everything that gets burned turns black. Does that mean there is carbon in everything? Perhaps our brilliant scientist will explain.)

In addition to the black stuff in the bottom of the tube, you will see moisture on the side of the tube. How did that get in there? The moisture must mean that sugar has not only carbon, but also contains the elements found in water.

When two or more different atoms are joined (in this example, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen), they form a compound. That means that sugar is a compound.

Sugar is a fairly common substance. We all know about it. Same with salt. Probably none of us has ever considered that it is "made of" something. It isn't just itself. I guess that means that everything there is, except for the individual elements themselves, is made up of more than one element. If something is made of more than one element, it
is called a "compound."

I guess that applies to people, as well. Girls are made of sugar and spice, and everything nice, while boys are made of snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails. Those are interesting compounds, aren't they?

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