At school today, we were doing experiments with ammonium nitrate and sodium hydroxide, and mixing them with water into an Erlenmeyer flask (separate flasks, of course). My instructor told us that we had to keep a styrofoam plate under the Erlenmeyer flask at all times.
After the experiment, she told us to find out why we put a styrofoam plate under the flask by tomorrow or we would get a 0 on that assignment.
Does anyone know why? I'm thinking it's to protect the table from the heat or coldness of the flask, or to protect the table in case of spills. We have to get the question exactly as she wants it, so I am looking for help.