Outreach and kitchen chemistry information. This set of handouts can be used to inspire people of all ages to take up chemistry in their own home! Racing raisins, cornflour gloop, erupting volcanoes, reaction times and iron from breakfast cereal are all covered here.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Carrying out comparative tests.
    • Finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information.
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.
  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Observe how magnets attract some materials and not others.
  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including response to magnets.
  • Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with the action of acid on bicarbonate of soda.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That some metals are magnetic – but not all materials are.
  • That magnets have many real-life applications.
  • That when acids and alkalis react new products are formed, and this type of reaction is irreversible:
    • That the products produced during these reactions can be of different states.

Suggested activity use

These activities could be used as a carousel of activities to assess and check knowledge of previously taught topics, either during a science week or a science afternoon.

Alternatively, individual activities could be used within the appropriate topics being taught, as a way of carrying out fair tests, or for stimulating discussions. The activities are suitable for a whole class or as small group work with adult supervision.

Practical considerations

A strong magnet will be required to extract the iron from the breakfast cereal – normal horseshoe magnets may not be strong enough.

The making of the cornflour ‘gloop’ can be extremely messy, so you may want to take precautions to minimise mess.

Health and safety considerations will need to be taken into account with some of these activities – particularly when using vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.