Ball-bearing Chromatography

Friday 12:00-1:45pm PT / 1:00-2:45pm MT / 2:00-3:45pm CT / 3:00-4:45pm ET Online
Round Table Discussion


Cynthia Connolly, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Talon Newton, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources

Chromatography is a powerful analytical tool that uses properties such as mass, ionic charge, and size to identify components in mixtures. We will present a chromatography lab using easily-sourced materials such as ball bearings and a (free) phone recording app. With these devices, students can create a calibration curve of ball bearings of known mass to identify a group of ball bearings of unknown mass. We encourage discussion about the ball bearing chromatography activity including modifications, improvements and how you could use this activity in your classroom.