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Classroom Activities

  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Activities with UV Beads Ultraviolet-sensitive beads change color when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. They are inexpensive, yet give students a way to detect the presence of UV light, which is normally invisible to humans. Here are 2 inquiry-based activities that enable students to investigate UV light using these remarkable beads. View »
  • The Problem with Pulleys Build and test working models of pulley systems commonly used in problems in physics texts and tests. 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Water Quality Awareness Use this engaging activity to increase student awareness of the current state of global water quality and availability. 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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