Experiments and investigations

Inspiration and resources for experiments and investigations

From kitchen to classroom

Simple chemistry experiments using kitchen cupboard equipment.

Picture of fresh spinach leaves

Chalky spinach

Use this video and experiment in your classroom or set as an activity for students to try out at home to explore why eating raw spinach leaves makes your mouth feel chalky.

Picture of a glass of water in a desert

How to purify water

A video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation about how to get clean water from contaminated water using the stages of the water cycle.

Demonstrations

Photo of oil, water and sand separated in a beaker

Primary science demonstrations: separating mixtures

Fun demonstrations of different mixtures, including racing liquids and rainbow colours.

a selection of different coloured solid shapes

Primary science demonstrations: solids

Display some exciting solid properties to primary students: including biscuit bashing, dissolving and heavy sugar.

picture of lots of metal cylinders with compressed gas inside

Primary science demonstrations: gases

Showing the properties of gases to primary students, with examples from: the leaky bottle and the sticky cups

Developing scientific skills

Help your pupils develop their scientific skills with these experiments and resources

Preview of a cartoon with students asking questions about rusting

Science concept cartoons: rusting

In association with

Use this conversation starter to get your pupils thinking about the process of rusting, and discussing different possibilities.

A preview of a cartoon with students asking questions about acid rain

Science Concept Cartoons: Acid rain

In association with

Spark discussion and stimulate thinking about acid rain in a way that encourages pupils to share their ideas.

Preview of a cartoon with students asking questions about condensation

Science concept cartoons: condensation

In association with

Show this concept cartoon to your class to get them talking and thinking about condensation in new ways.

Photos of four difference ice creams in cones

The science of ice cream

Heston Blumenthal discusses the science of ice cream in this selection of videos.

picture of jelly on a plate with a strawberry on the top

Enzymes and jellies

If you add certain fresh fruit such as pineapple to jelly, it will not set. The task in this resource is to investigate why.

pan of green beans waiting to be cooked

Should beans be cooked with the lid on or off?

An investigation into whether having the lid on or off affects the colour of green vegetables.

Picture of swirling patterns of food colouring in milk

Investigating surface tension with milk

Explore surface tension by making patterns in milk using items from the kitchen cupboard. Includes a video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction and explanation.

Picture of kitchen roll

Kitchen roll chromatography

Have a go at paper chromatography at home or in the classroom with items from a kitchen. Includes video aimed at learners, instructions, and explanation.

Butter and other dairy products

How to make butter

Try making butter at home or in the classroom using items from your kitchen cupboard. Includes video aimed at pupils, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

Picture of an orange bath bomb fizzing under water

Making bath bombs

Learn how to make fizzing bath bombs using ingredients from your kitchen cupboards. Includes video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

Picture of chopped red cabbage

Red cabbage rainbows

In this activity, learners create rainbows using homemade red cabbage indicator paper. Includes video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

Close up of lit fireplace inside viking longhouse

Putting fires out

How can we use vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to make a fire extinguisher?

Picture of chopped red cabbage

Red cabbage rainbows

In this activity, learners create rainbows using homemade red cabbage indicator paper. Includes video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

An image showing a heatmap of a person in a jacket

Insulation investigation

Which material makes the warmest jacket? Investigate the insulating properties of various materials with this activity for ages 7–14

Preview of a cartoon with students asking questions about rusting

Science concept cartoons: rusting

In association with

Use this conversation starter to get your pupils thinking about the process of rusting, and discussing different possibilities.

A preview of a cartoon with students asking questions about acid rain

Science Concept Cartoons: Acid rain

In association with

Spark discussion and stimulate thinking about acid rain in a way that encourages pupils to share their ideas.

Preview of a cartoon with students asking questions about condensation

Science concept cartoons: condensation

In association with

Show this concept cartoon to your class to get them talking and thinking about condensation in new ways.

Photo of oil, water and sand separated in a beaker

Primary science demonstrations: separating mixtures

Fun demonstrations of different mixtures, including racing liquids and rainbow colours.

a selection of different coloured solid shapes

Primary science demonstrations: solids

Display some exciting solid properties to primary students: including biscuit bashing, dissolving and heavy sugar.

picture of lots of metal cylinders with compressed gas inside

Primary science demonstrations: gases

Showing the properties of gases to primary students, with examples from: the leaky bottle and the sticky cups

An image showing a heatmap of a person in a jacket

Insulation investigation

Which material makes the warmest jacket? Investigate the insulating properties of various materials with this activity for ages 7–14

A preview of two element Top Trumps cards

Elements Top Trumps

A fun way to introduce the elements in the periodic table.

An aerial photograph of cumulus clouds above the sea, with shadows and a ship visible below

The life of water

Get hands on with H2O, changing states of matter and the water cycle. These experiments and investigations involve water in the context of space

cyclists-group-bicycle-race-shutterstock_100176515

Olympic composites (primary level)

Find out what composites are made up of and why they are so important sporting equipment for the Olympics.

Picture of a modern kitchen

Separation techniques

A video aimed at learners, instructions, and explanation to separate a mixture of water and solids at home or in the classroom with items from a kitchen.

picture of jelly on a plate with a strawberry on the top

Enzymes and jellies

If you add certain fresh fruit such as pineapple to jelly, it will not set. The task in this resource is to investigate why.

chef adding salt to a saucepan of pasta

Use of salt in cooking, part 1

In this activity students devise and carry out experiments to test possible reasons for adding salt when cooking vegetables.

picture of a sherbet fountain

Sherbet and popping candy: edible experiments

What makes sherbet fizz and what makes popping candy pop? Discover the importance of chemistry in everyday eating experiences with this edible experiment.

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Ancient Egypt: science ideas webs

A web of suggested ideas for linking science with the topic Ancient Egypt. You can learn history and science together with activities for different age groups. 

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Ancient Greece: science ideas webs

A web of suggested ideas for linking science with the topic the Ancient Greece. You can learn history and science together with activities for different age groups. 

picture of frozen vegetables

Bacteria and foods: kitchen science podcasts

Introduce your students to bacteria and how to stop food spoiling with this short podcast.

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Chemistry in sport

Our very first global experiment compares the performance enhancement of student-made sports drinks vs water

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Smart materials: lesson tips

Try these activities to help design your lessons on smart materials. Explore the topic using this simple demonstration of polymers and salt. 

An aerial photograph of cumulus clouds above the sea, with shadows and a ship visible below

The life of water

Get hands on with H2O, changing states of matter and the water cycle. These experiments and investigations involve water in the context of space

cyclists-group-bicycle-race-shutterstock_100176515

Olympic composites (primary level)

Find out what composites are made up of and why they are so important sporting equipment for the Olympics.

Global experiments

Primary school children with clipboards

Global experiments

Engage your students with hands-on, fully-resourced, group activities that are adaptable for all ages

Edible experiments

logo for edible experiments showing cartoon foods in flasks and test tubes

Edible experiments

Discover the importance of chemistry in everyday eating experiences with this collection of edible experiments. 

That's Chemistry!

Someone tying up their ice skates while sitting on ice

That’s Chemistry!

Discover the informative chapters of That’s Chemistry! Each chapter explains a chemistry concept and gives numerous ideas for activites to support students’ learning.