The colors of science

Pirateer Staff

Students in Honors Chemistry class determined how dye sticks to fabric with a fun springtime experiment held outside. “Tie-dying has to be done or at least with this reactive device, has to be done with a plant fiber-based article of clothing like cotton,” said teacher Cassie Weason.

“I chose this class because my boyfriend took it and recommended it,” said Erin Jones (9). Most students take the physical science class because a friend recommends it or it is required for college, “It’s fun. I got this class because it was given to me and now it’s my favorite class,” said Lilian Drummond (9).


Ms. Weason says the students learn that science is fun and that chemical bonds are strong,  “and what ends up happening is they initially take their item that they’re going to tie-dye, and they put it into a bucket of something we call fixer solution. Basically, it’s a strong detergent solution. And what that does, say you’re using cotton on the cotton molecule it strips off a hydrogen atom from a hydroxyl group, exposing a negatively charged oxygen, and that is actually the site that the dye will permanently adhere to. So the dye actually inherently becomes an actual part of the item that they’re dying. So once they rinse it and it runs clear that color will stay that robust for the entire life of the T-shirt or whatever it is,” said Weason.


Ryan Joseph came to Englewood High School about halfway through the year. He came from California to Colorado to get rehab after a wrestling accident. He likes challenging himself in the classroom, “Tie-dye is fun. I choose this class when I broke my neck halfway through summer. You tie-dye by scrunching up a t-shirt and dye it,” Ryan Joseph (11) said.


Students know they need chemical reactions to pass chemistry and this is one way to have a fun time while learning, “It’s part of the science curriculum. I took this class because It was for credits” said Ricky Chinas (11). “I chose this class because of Ms. Weason is a great teacher,” said Micaiah Hazard (9th).


There are many students who like the challenge of an Honors class and chemistry was the perfect fit, “I wanted to challenge myself to the staff recommended honors chem,” Julian Stell (9) said. “I’ve never tie-dyed so I don’t know what the chemical reaction is, I’m learning something new,” Erin Jones (9)


Students leave the shirts in a plastic bag for several hours. Then they rinse it with water until it runs clear, then you can throw it in the washing machine. There are thousands and thousands of different designs students came up with during the experiment.