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Classroom Activities

  • Freezing Point Depression Activity: Ice Cream Spring brings showers, sunshine, and the prospect of summer break. Celebrate with this cool, fun activity. It requires just a few inexpensive materials and can be the basis of an engaging lesson on colligative properties. View »
  • Periodic Table Mystery P is less dense than S. S is an alkali metal. E is a noble gas. In this activity, students generate a periodic table from clues and predict the missing properties of several elements based on the elements’ locations in the table. View »
  • Petri Dish Electrolysis Activity Introduce your students to reduction-oxidation reactions and some of the basic terms of electrochemistry (such as electrode potential, anode, and cathode) with this activity—creating electrolysis in a petri dish. View »
  • Solar Cell Misconceptions All of your students have seen photovoltaic solar cells used in a variety of ways; however, students may have misconceptions in understanding what influences solar cell output. This activity sets the record straight and explores how ambient temperature and the angle of illumination can affect solar cell output in volts. View »
  • Imploding Soda Cans: An Inquiry Approach Your students have probably seen someone crush an empty beverage can with their bare hands, or have even crushed one themselves. But have they ever seen an open can seemingly crush itself, like magic, without the presence of a visible, physical force? View »
  • More Paper Clip Chemistry Who knew the common paper clip could be such a versatile teaching assistant? This activity uses several paper clip styles to help students understand empirical formulas and relative masses. View »
  • Molecular Geometry with Balloons For some students, molecular geometry can be tricky to understand, but with this hands-on, engaging activity, it doesn’t have to be. View »
  • Teaching Chemistry with Manipulatives Manipulatives can help students (especially visual and tactile learners) understand abstract concepts by allowing them to “see” a chemical structure or process. We offer 2 ideas for creating manipulatives and how to use them. View »
  • Kool-Aid® Chromatography Students encounter mixtures every day though they may not realize it. Use this chromatography activity to teach an important lab technique and introduce or reinforce key science terms and concepts. View »
  • A New Approach to Teaching Atomic Theory For chemistry teacher Siobhan Julian, teaching the history of atomic theory by lecture “was dry and tedious and boring for everyone involved.” Then she took a fresh approach—one that focuses on doing science to learn science history. View »
  • One in a Million: Using Serial Dilutions to Understand Concentration In this activity, students will learn about concentration while performing a serial dilution. View »
  • Fractional Distillation of a Carbonated Soft Drink How is crude oil refined into many valuable products? Students can find out with this lab activity. Substituting a soft drink for crude oil, they use fractional distillation to separate the soft drink into its components, or fractions. View »
  • Carolina Quick Tips®: Paper Chromatography of Pens and Acid-Base Indicators In this activity, students use paper chromatography to separate the components of black ink in pens and of an acid-base indicator solu- tion. View »
  • A Visual Introduction to Ionic and Net Ionic Equations With this activity students explore the phenomenon of chemical precipitation and construct an atomic level model of precipitation using ionic and net ionic equations. View »
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