We were talking about redox reactions today in seventh grade. The students tend to have a difficult time with the difference between the thing that is oxidized and reduced and the oxidizing and reducing agents. It’s all very complicated and tricky and if you don’t remember redox reactions from your high school chemistry class, shame on you and go ask a teacher! 🙂

We abbreviate the reducing agent as “red. agent.” And of course, because it is the compound that is giving electrons away, I started calling it the communist. The kids think it is funny and if it helps them remember, so be it.

English: A communist star

English: A communist star (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I explained this to one of my classes and the kids all laughed a little until one of them shouts out: “Hey, he’s not a communist! He’s just giving electrons. That’s being nice! That’s not being a communist!”

The rest of the class shouted back about how it’s just for fun, we’re calling it a communist because it’s the RED agent, but he stuck to his assertion that just because the compound gives electrons away does NOT make it a communist.

So new lesson:  Don’t bring up anything political, no matter how benign, with seventh graders.