Outreach resources hub

Projects, activities and resources for science outreach and STEM clubs

Are you planning an outreach session for your students or at another school? Looking for ideas to use in a science club? Putting together an off-timetable day?

Explore these outreach projects and activities, including resources produced as part of the RSC’s Chemistry for All project.

Any questions or suggestions? Email us.

  • Smashing science stereotypes

  • How to solve a murder

  • Science competitions your students can enter this year

  • Speed date your way to successful school-industry partnerships

  • Raise your students’ aspirations

Three children looking in different directions, surrounded by illustrations of things using chemistry, including a mobile phone, an electric car, solar panels and more

Source: © Sam Falconer @ Début Art

Chemistry for All

The Chemistry for All project explored and addressed barriers to participation in UK chemistry undergraduate study through longitudinal research. Read findings relevant to outreach providers, education policymakers, teachers and parents in the Chemistry for All summary report.

The project found providing learners with the opportunity to take part in hands-on practical lessons, engagement with science extracurricular activities and showing how science relates to everyday life were all positively associated with learners’ aspirations to continue with non-compulsory science and chemistry. Discover some of the outreach resources used by Chemistry for All activity providers below.

Chemistry for All

The Chemistry for All project explored and addressed barriers to participation in UK chemistry undergraduate study through longitudinal research. Read findings relevant to outreach providers, education policymakers, teachers and parents in the Chemistry for All summary report.

The project found providing learners with the opportunity to take part in hands-on practical lessons, engagement with science extracurricular activities and showing how science relates to everyday life were all positively associated with learners’ aspirations to continue with non-compulsory science and chemistry. Discover some of the outreach resources used by Chemistry for All activity providers below.

Three children looking in different directions, surrounded by illustrations of things using chemistry, including a mobile phone, an electric car, solar panels and more

Source: © Sam Falconer @ Début Art

 

Projects

Longer, practical projects suitable for off-timetable science days in schools, university campus visits or to take place over several chemistry lessons or STEM club sessions.

Preview of the Nanoparticles in sunscreen challenge PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Nanoparticles in sunscreen challenge | Chemistry for All project | 14–16 years

Make your own sunscreen and determine its SPF using UV light transmission

Preview of the Hard water challenge PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Hard water challenge | Chemistry for All project | 14–16 years

Investigate the relationship between the concentration of calcium ions and the ‘hardness’ of water

Preview of the Chemistry at the crime scene PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Chemistry at the crime scene investigation | Chemistry for All project | 11–14 years

This forensic science project uses chemical analysis and observation skills to investigate a crime and solve the case

Preview of The chemistry of food PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Analysing the chemistry of food | Chemistry for All project | 14–16 years

Analyse food and drink samples using TLC, titration and visible absorption spectroscopy with this engaging project 

Preview of the Bonding workshop PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Bonding workshop | Chemistry for All project | 14–16 years

A series of activites, demonstrations and experiments exploring simple covalent molecules and hydrocarbons

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Organic molecules day

Students produce and analyse a simple aromatic compound using analytical techniques. Includes kit list, safety instructions and suggested timings

Circuit board

Photolithography

Students use light to create their own printed circuit boards. Find the kit list, safety instructions and suggested timings in the download

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Chemistry of dentistry

Learn about the role of chemistry in dentistry. Includes kit list, safety instructions and suggested session timings

Salt

The salt cellar mystery

Support learners to investigate using chemistry, with the salt cellar mystery. Includes kit list, safety instructions and session timings

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Chemistry masterclass

Undertake the work of a medicinal chemist by isolating an active compound. Find the kit list, safety instructions and session timings in the download

Murder in the lab

Murder in the lab

Give students a flavour of analytical techniques used in forensic science. Find the kit list, safety instructions and suggested timings in the download

An image of a hand opening a safe

Escape the classroom

Be inspired to design an escape room experience for students with these chemistry related puzzles

Activities

Shorter, approximately one-hour long, resources for use in STEM clubs, timetabled lessons, as part of a collapsed/off-timetable day or as an outreach activity. Select from non-lab or lab-based activities and find the equipment you need in the downloads.

Non-lab activities

Preview of Quicksand resource PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Quicksand investigation | 14–16 years

Discover the properties of non-Newtonian fluids and how these could help you escape from quicksand

Previews of Large molecules student workbook, teacher notes, technician notes and PowerPoint slides

Modelling large molecules | 11–14 years

Use this resource to review monomers and polymers

Previews of Baking student workbook, teacher notes, technician notes and PowerPoint slides

Baking investigation | 11–14 years

Discover the purpose of each ingredient and test methods used to make cupcakes

Preview of the Encapsulation PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Encapsulation experiment | 11–14 years

Investigate encapsulation and the role it plays in helping probiotics travel to the gut

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. 

Gum Drop image

Make a molecule

Learn about the types of molecules found in fruits and sweets, as well as how molecules are formed

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Colourful chemistry

Get colourful with chemistry with these experiments, perfect for learners to explore density and liquids

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Chromatography: how black is a black pen?

Black never goes out of style, and with this experiment learners can explore what colours go into making black ink with chromatography

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Magic sand

Putting the magic in magic sand this resource explores hydrophobic substances and how they work

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Crime scene chromatography

Using three different black pens, learners can put their scientific curiosity to use and explore chromatography

Lab-based activities

Preview of Fizzy drinks PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Investigating the sugar content and pH of fizzy drinks | 11–14 years

Compare fizzy drinks’ ingredients, acidities and health implications

Preview of Salt (for cooking) PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Salt (for cooking) activities | 11–14 years

Uncover the properties and health implications of salt in our diets

Preview of the Custard PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Custard experiment | 11–14 years

Introduce your learners to Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids as well as the explosive nature of powders

Preview of the Infection PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Infection | 11–14 years

Introduce your learners to infection and how to treat some infectious diseases

Preview of the Cold reactions PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Investigating cold reactions | 11–14 years

Explore what is meant by ‘cold’ and the applications of endothermic reactions

Preview of the DNA PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Extracting DNA experiment | 11–14 years

Remove and compare genetic material in different plant cells 

Preview of the Emulsifiers PowerPoint presentation slides, student workbook, teacher and technician notes

Emulsifiers in cleaning | 11–14 years

Investigate and explain what emulsions are and their applications in cleaning

Brown kelp image

Cross-linking polymers – alginate worms

With a collection of equipment easy to find in your classroom, learners can form alginate polymer ‘worms’ and explore cross-linking polymers

Colour powder

Colour chemistry

A variety of experiments that explore colour changing, so learners can experience a comprehensive look into the brighter side of chemistry

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Electrochromic polymer

Can polymers conduct electricity as well as metals? Using this experiment, learners will discover how the two materials differ. Includes kit list and safety instructions

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Green plastics

Discover more about the science of green plastics with this in depth session on bio-plastics and the issues around fossil fuels

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Sunlight to electricity

Sunlight can be a powerful natural tool. Learners can explore the science of solar in this experiment, includes kit list and safety instructions

Shopping basket

Chemistry in your shopping basket

Demonstrate the diversity of chemistry in our day-to-day lives with this collection of experiments. Includes kit list and safety instructions for five practicals

Crystal

Snap, crackle and snot

Investigate some of the weird and wonderful properties of solids, liquids and gases, in this range of experiments

Careers

The Chemistry for All project found that recognising the value and importance of chemistry, and appreciating how chemistry can lead to interesting and well-paid jobs strongly related to learners’ future aspirations.

Explore how chemistry can prepare learners to pursue apprenticeships, university courses and vocational routes, or browse job profiles and try our career options game on A Future in Chemistry. You can also find careers information for STEM ambassadors, together with presentations and other resources to help you support young people.

  • Quality officer, genomics research

  • Chief scientist at agritech company, Lambda Energy

  • Scientist, food and pharmaceuticals

  • Head of toxicology

  • Dermal toxicologist

  • Head of computational toxicology

View all job profiles

Further study

An image of a flask-shaped bookcase in front of a blackboard

Why you need chemistry to study … at university

Explore with your students how 16–18 chemistry links with university courses

Try our careers game

Graphical image for the making the difference game

Make a difference with your career choice

Play our game and discover how you can make a difference in the world

Research, funding and more from the RSC

A photograph of two students and their teacher discussing a chemistry experiment, with a variety of apparatus set up in front of them

Outreach at the RSC

Find out more about the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Outreach programme, including resources, projects and funding information

Two school pupils doing a chemistry experiment using pipettes and test tubes

Outreach fund

Apply for a small grant (up to £5000) or a large grant (up to £10000) to run a chemistry-based public or schools engagement activity.

An illustration showing wind turbines on a grassy hill, surrounded by kites with icons for recycling, batteries and electricity

Take charge: a global battery experiment (2022/23)

Join our global experiment before the end of July 2023 to investigate the science behind batteries and share your results with the world