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What Does a Chemist Do?



What Does a Chemist Do?
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     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    spandex, half-century, polyester, synthetic, element, ozone, chemist, nylon, agriculture, microscope, lightweight, electronic, fuel, natural, discover, knowledge


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What Does a Chemist Do?
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Everything in our world is made up of chemicals. Yes, even people! A chemist studies chemicals, matter and its properties, and atoms. Atoms are the smallest particles of an element that still have the properties of that element. For instance, you can take a piece of aluminum and cut it into pieces, and it still is a shiny, lightweight metal. If you could cut that aluminum into pieces that are too small to see with your eyes, or even with a good microscope, it would still be a piece of aluminum.
 
2     Chemists study atoms and how they join together. For example, flour, sugar, eggs, and chocolate chips can join together to make chocolate chip cookies. However, if you first melt the chocolate, you will get a different kind of cookie. It will be chocolate all through without the chips of chocolate in it. In a similar way, the same atoms can join together in different ways and make completely different substances. For instance, the chemical formula for oxygen is O2. This means that oxygen is made up of two atoms of oxygen joined together. This is like a "recipe" for oxygen. If we change the "recipe" .....
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