Upper School Chemistry students are uncovering a fascinating truth behind a glittering experiment.
The Golden Penny Lab is often used as the first experiment of the year to introduce students to the world of chemical transformations. It is designed to pique their curiosity and familiarize them with the essential lab safety procedures and equipment they will be using throughout the year. Students are encouraged to observe reactions closely and record their findings at every step of this hands-on experiment. The highlight of the Golden Penny Lab is the transformation of ordinary pennies into shimmering gold-like coins. However, it left students with a thought-provoking question: Did they really turn their pennies into gold?
Pat H. '26 expressed skepticism, saying, "I don't think my penny is gold because the penny isn't as dense as gold," demonstrating the critical thinking skills that chemistry fosters. Students can advance their knowledge through thoughtful discussion and the exploration of ideas thanks to the dynamic learning environment the School offers. Emma N. '26 called it a "great way to kick off the school year." The Golden Penny Lab truly sets the stage for an engaging and educational year of chemistry. Best of all, students were ecstatic to discover they could keep these "golden" pennies as a memento of their first chemistry lab.
Over the following weeks, students will delve deeper into the world of chemistry to determine the true nature of their golden pennies, learning valuable lessons about the scientific method and chemical reactions along the way.
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.