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This activity is designed to get students to understand the principles of spontaneous formation of lipids. Study the instructions below. Complete the experiment, recording observations on the student journal activity sheet.

Access the Student Journal for Activity 1

Materials Needed :
    1 clear glass or beaker
    2 graduated cylinders or beakers (suggested)
    1 stirring rod (or spoon)
    2 or more types of oil (for example, corn and olive oil)


Activity #1 - Spontaneous Formation in Lipids
  1. Take a small clear glass that you can see through. Measure 50 ml of water and put it in the glass.
  2. Add 5 ml of oil. Stir vigorously. Note time after stirring. Let stand and observe. Note the time again.
    What happens?
    How long did it take?
  3. Does dilution matter? Add another 50 ml of water and repeat steps 1 and 2 above. Repeat with another 50 ml of water.

    Why did the same thing happen with successive dilutions? Hint: what was diluted, the oil or the water?

  4. Repeat the same tests above with a different oil.