Classic chemistry experiments

Expertly communicate the excitement of chemistry with these time-tested classroom practicals.

These resources have been compiled from the book Classic chemistry experiments: a collection of 100 chemistry experiments developed with the support of teachers throughout the UK.

If you'd like to buy a copy of the book, visit our online bookshop. If you're a Royal Society of Chemistry member, don't forget to use your 35% discount.

  • Scuba diver

    A Cartesian diver

    An old favourite experiment, the Cartesian diver is easy for students to complete. Explore important ideas that build a foundation of knowledge. 

  • Sea salt crystals

    Chemistry and electricity

    Create coloured writing from acids, alkali, and salt solution, all activated through electrolysis.

  • Spilt ink

    Disappearing ink

    Explore the reaction between acids and bases as students create disappearing ink, in this favourite classroom practical.

  • Lightbulbs

    Electricity from chemicals

    Use various metals, in pairs, and n electrolyte to form a cell. Then observe the formation of ions around the reactive metal, and compare the speed with which they form around the less reactive metal. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Particle model image

    Experiments with particles

    Explore physical states, and how material interact with three practicals. Students use common classroom items to explore, and then note their findings. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Three small candles or tea lights burning against a black background

    Identifying the products of combustion

    In association with

    Illustrate the presence of water and carbon dioxide in the products of hydrocarbon combustion in this demonstration. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Particles

    Particles in motion?

    Explore the movement of gas particles in this practical but reacting calcium carbonate with hydrochloric acid. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Foam

    Producing a foam

    Explore foams and their properties in this experiment, so students learn how foam is produced and produce their own. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • copper sulfate in beaker

    Properties of the transition metals and their compounds

    Student discover the diversity of transition metals in this practical that puts their knowledge of these common elements to the test. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • CCE13_Rubber band_image3

    Rubber band experiment

    A rubber band, a hairdryer, and a curious mind will see students discover the principles of heat based reactions. Includes kit list and safety instruction.

  • coloured test tubes

    Testing salts for anions and cations

    A full range of chemicals will guide students into discovering how to identify the composition of unknown substances. Includes kit list and safry instructions. 

  • Beaker image

    The effect of concentration and temperature on reaction rate

    Reaction rate can be altered by many things, in this practical students explore how temperature and concentration effect reaction in an closer look at kinetics. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Conical flask with orange liquid image

    The effect of temperature on reaction rate

    Discover more about collision theory in this practical, where a sodium thiosulfate and hydrochloric acid mixture produce an interesting reaction. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • shutterstock_1721090158

    The effect of temperature on solubility

    Hot or cold, which water is better for soluble substances? Explore your finding from this practical into the effect of temperature on solubility. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Bubbles image

    The electrolysis of solutions

    Electricity is passed through various solutions and the products are identified. Includes kit list and safety instructions

  • heated test tube image

    The preparation and properties of oxygen

    Produce a potassium manganate(VII) reaction using a test tube, Bunsen burner, and scientific inquisition to detect the presence of oxygen. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • test tube rack image

    The reactivity of the group 2 metals

    Compare group 1 and group 2 metals with this practical that shows their reactivity rates, where students can take control of their own observations and come to their own conclusions

  • Hydrogen graphic

    The volume of 1 mole of hydrogen gas

    Understand the volume of one mole of hydrogen gas through a magnesium and acid reaction, taking note of the temperature and pressure. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Cooking oil image


    Compare the viscosity of thick and thin liquids in this experiment, which gets young learners exploring how viscosity alters the speed of an air bubble through the substances. Includes kit list and safety instructions.