Student contest

One of our winning entries....


The Chemmies (Barrie and Larisa)
Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL

We are sophomores at Evanston Township Highschool. We are part of a Chemistry/Physics class program at our school for those who love science. We have taken a particular interest in Chemistry. There is always something new and exciting to learn in our Chemistry class! We wrote this song because we found learning about chemical reactions fun and we wanted to communicate that in a fun song about our favorite chemical reaction: Combustion!

(tune: "Big Spender" from the musical Fosse)

It was a Saturday night
I had snuck in to the Chem lab at the highschool
Please understand I didn't mean to mess up
What happened in the Chem lab was just my bad luck

I started with oxygen,
Which I added to a big hydrocarbon
To make it stronger
But instead a reaction occurred
And needless to say I hardly thought before I stirred

The minute the two molecules met,
I could tell it was a reaction of distinction
So full of power
Combustion is what it's called
It produced so much heat that I was appalled

So then I recalled
What I should've known if I'd payed attention
When we studied reactions
Oxygen and hydrocarbons
When mixed-
Ignite most readily

As a result
When a compound comes to burn in the air
it oxidizes
Producing H20's
Along with carbon dioxide, and the reaction grows

In the case I recount
The carbon chain was C4H10
Also known as Butane
But the oxygen in the air
Mixed with it so forcefully it burned off my hair

So I was left with some water
And a bunch of CO2 in the air
That clogged my breathing!
Plus a huge hole in the floor

I somehow doubt that I'll be mixing carbon any more
So I'll tell you
That the general formula for combustion
is as follows
CH plus O gives you CO2
And water H2O compounds too

It gives of lots of heat
So we call it exothermic
and we also call it Oxidation
It's forceful and I recommend
You know what you're doing
Before you mix things my friend

So I'm serving detentions,
All the way untill I enter college and let me tell you
Watch out for combustion!
Look what it did to me!