Experiments

Try these with your students

  • Image showing a one page from the technician notes, teacher notes, student sheet and integrated instructions that make up this resource, plus two bags of chocolate coins

    ‘Gold’ coins on a microscale | 14–16 years

    Practical experiment where learners produce ‘gold’ coins by electroplating a copper coin with zinc, includes follow-up worksheet

  • Screenshots of the Is toothpaste basic downloadable resources, with a picture of three toothpaste tubes and question marks made out of striped, green and pink toothpastes in the forefront.

    Is toothpaste basic? | 11–14 years

    Test the basicity of toothpastes and give context to neutralisation reactions

  • Test tubes marked A to F in a blue test tube holder; each one contains some clear liquid and is sealed with a bung

    Qualitative tests for organic functional groups | practical videos | 16–18 students

    Video and supporting resources to support a practical investigation to identify organic functional groups using a range of qualitative tests

  • The hand of a teacher in a lab coat gestures towards a Liebig condenser used for distillation

    Preparation of an organic liquid | practical videos | 16–18 students

    Video and supporting resources to support practical work based on synthesis of an organic liquid, the experiment includes the stages of preparation, separation and purification

  • A Petri dish set up for a microscale electrolysis experiment using samples of metal and a power supply

    Electrochemical cells | practical videos | 16–18 students

    Video and supporting resources to support electrochemistry practical work, including two microscale experiments, animation and cell diagrams

  • A teacher in a lab coat pours a clear liquid into beakers using a measuring flask

    Rates of reaction | practical videos | 16–18 students

    Video and supporting resources to support practical work on rates of reaction, includes both an initial rate and continuous monitoring method

  • potion labels

    Practical potions microscale | 11–14 years

    Observe chemical changes in this microscale experiment with a spooky twist.

  • A metal fizzing bubbles in a clear liquid.

    Microscale neutralisation and precipitation reactions

    Hone your students’ observation skills by asking them to observe two microscale reactions: neutralising citric acid and creating a lead iodide precipitate

  • An image showing the pages available in the downloads with a water bottle in the shape of a 6 in the foreground.

    Antibacterial properties of the halogens | 14–18 years

    Use this practical to investigate how solutions of the halogens inhibit the growth of bacteria and which is most effective

  • Six test tubes in a metal test tube holder, each containing a red-brown solution at different concentrations

    Equilibrium and Le Chatelier’s principle

    Investigate the effects of concentration, pressure and temperature on equilibrium and explore Le Chatelier’s principle in this series of demonstrations.

  • A photo of small bottles and spot plates

    Microscale technicians in trouble! investigation

    Some solutions have been mixed up – help the technicians work out which is which

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    Rates of hydrolysis – practical videos | 16–18 students

    Video resources and associated questions on the topic of hydrolysis of halogenoalkanes.

  • Chemical reaction-Pipette, producing carbon dioxide

    Redox – practical videos | 16–18 students

    Video resources to support the teaching of popular classroom-based redox titrations.

  • The hand of a teacher in a lab coat gestures towards a Liebig condenser used for distillation

    Practical videos | 16–18 students

    Videos of key practical techniques and apparatus for revision, flipped learning or remote teaching.

  • A close-up, full-frame image of bubbles of different sizes in a purple liquid

    Electrolysis of brine

    In association with

    Use this colourful practical to introduce students to the electrolysis of brine, or sodium chloride solution. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Two coloured cobalt solutions - one pink, one blue

    The equilibrium between two coloured cobalt species

    In association with

    In this demonstration the equilibrium between two different coloured cobalt species is disturbed. Le Chatelier’s principle is used to predict a colour change.

  • A yellow precipitate forming in a clear liquid against a black background

    Precipitation reactions of lead nitrate

    Compare the colours of various lead compounds to identify which would be good pigments in this microscale practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • sulfur lake and stone sulfur

    Some reactions of sulfur dioxide

    Observe the reactions of sulfur dioxide with potassium manganate (IV), iodide/iodate mixture and indicator solution. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • A close-up photograph of spiral-shaped brass turnings

    The determination of copper in brass

    Try this microscale class practical to investigate how much copper there is in brass using nitric acid. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A plastic model of a molecule of hydrogen sulfide, with a yellow sulfur atom and two white hydrogen atoms

    Microscale reactions of hydrogen sulfide

    Observe the reactions of hydrogen sulfide with lead nitrate, silver nitrate and potassium manganate(VII) in this microscale practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A 3D illustration of a molecule of ammonia, with a nitrogen atom in blue and three hydrogen atoms in white

    Microscale reactions of ammonia

    Try this practical to explore the reactions of ammonia with indicator solution, copper(II) sulfate solution and Nessler’s reagent. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Tap water image

    Measuring density

    By measuring the relative mass of seawater and tap water, students will be able to discover the density of these liquids. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Sodium thiosulfate crystals

    The chemistry of thiosulfate ions

    Sodium thiosulfate has several interesting reactions with a variety of chemicals. This experiment will let students explore and record these reactions. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Image

    Some reactions of nitrogen dioxide

    Using a range of chemicals and solutions, students can create an experiment that will explore some of the reactions of nitrogen dioxide. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A scientist wearing disposable gloves holds indicator paper over a slice of lemon and a bar of soap

    Testing acids and bases on a microscale

    Test various substances with indicator solution and look for colour changes in this microscale class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A hand pressing the zero or tare button on a laboratory balance

    Mass changes in chemical reactions

    Perform two chemical reactions to see whether any mass changes occur in this microscale class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Bottle of nitric acid

    The oxidation of cyclohexanol by nitric acid

    Perform a ring opening oxidation using nitric acid to produce the dicarboxylic acid, 1,6-hexanedioic acid (adipic acid) – and then use the solid crystals that form to determine a melting point. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A sample of elemental chromium on black background

    Exploring the chemistry of chromium, molybdenum and tungsten

    Discover how transition elements differ in aspects of colour, precipitate formation, changes in oxidation state and equilibria. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Test tubes containing yellow, red and orange substances formed by the combination of two solutions

    Brady’s test for aldehydes and ketones

    Identify aldehydes and ketones using Brady’s reagent (2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine) in this microscale experiment. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Petri dishes

    The chemical properties of phenol

    Observe and interpret some of the chemical reactions of hydroxybenzene (phenol), by adding five different substances to a Petri dish, and noting down findings. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A plastic model of a molecule of ethyne, with two carbon atoms in black and two hydrogen atoms in white

    Preparing and testing ethyne (acetylene)

    Generate ethyne gas with calcium carbide and test its properties in this microscale class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A brown precipitate at the bottom of a glass beaker labelled with the chemical formula for iron(II) hydroxide

    Observing chemical changes

    Try this microscale practical to explore the chemical changes in displacement, redox and precipitation reactions. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • An illustration with red and blue circles representing particles of two gases mixing

    Diffusion of gases on a microscale

    Try this class practical to explore the diffusion of gases and how relative molecular mass affects rate of diffusion. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • H2O2 image

    Redox chemistry with dichromate ions

    Observe the colour changes that occur with the reduction of dichromate ions by hydrogen peroxide. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A pile of scrap iron with brown rust visible

    Oxidation states of iron

    Compare the two main oxidation states of iron and consider explanations for differences in this microscale practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A close-up photograph of shiny copper shavings

    Microscale reactions of metals with acids

    Try this class practical to explore reactivity series with various metals as they react with acids on a microscale. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A photograph showing potassium permanganate in a glass beaker

    Unsaturation test with potassium manganate(VII)

    Use a solution of potassium manganate to test for unsaturation in organic compounds in this microscale practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • table of elements image

    Properties of group 2 elements

    Add drops of various anion solutions to drops of group 2 element cations, and note down the changes that occur when the substances interact. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A close-up photograph of a glass test tube containing a light brown liquid

    Testing for unsaturation with bromine on a microscale

    Try this class experiment to prepare elemental bromine and use it to test for unsaturation in organic compounds. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Blue dye in conical flask

    Oxygen and methylene blue

    Reacting hydrogen peroxide, and potassium manganate together will produce detectable oxygen so by using methylene blue solution, and a gas generating apparatus students can test for the presence of oxygen in this practical. Includes kit list and safety instruction.

  • A close-up photograph of a pile of white aspirin pills on a blue paper background

    Synthesis of aspirin on a microscale

    Use this class practical to produce aspirin in a microscale esterification reaction using phosphoric acid as a catalyst. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A thermometer strip with Celsius and Fahrenheit scales, currently indicating a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius

    Energy changes in neutralisation

    Study energy changes in two chemical reactions using thermometer strips to measure temperature in this experiment. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Petri dish image

    Formation of TCP (2,4,6-trichlorohydroxybenzene)

    Delve into preparing TCP by reacting hydroxybenzene (phenol) with chlorine gas, and create this distinctive smelling compound.

  • Three brown glass vials labelled as containing silver nitrate on a white-grey laboratory bench

    Investigating redox reactions on a microscale

    Carry out two redox reactions and observe and interpret the results in this microscale class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Water, and fabric, dyed indigo. With hands wringing out water

    The microscale synthesis of indigo dye

    Carry out a microscale organic synthesis, the result of which will leave students with indigo dye. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Oil spill image

    The treatment of oil spills

    Tackle the real-life environment problem of oil spills in your classroom, by creating and then treating a micro version of an oil event. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Several fabrics that have been dyed different colours

    The microscale synthesis of azo dyes

    Synthesise an azo dye, and use it to change the colour of cotton, with this class experiment. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A section of the Periodic Table with the tiles for elements in Group 1 and 2 visible in red and orange respectively

    Sulfate and carbonate solubility of Groups 1 and 2

    Try this microscale practical to explore the properties of elements in Groups 1 and 2 as they form various precipitates. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Image

    Exploring the properties of the carvones

    Test the smell of each enantiomer of carvone and detect the differences

  • Orange vitamin c image

    Measuring the amount of vitamin C in fruit drinks

    Explore ascorbic acid in fruit drinks through titration in this experiment, with specimen results and calculations, stock solutions, and detailed notes included. 

  • A strip of magnesium becomes coated with dark brown copper as it reacts with blue copper sulfate solution

    Displacement reactions of metals on a microscale

    Examine the reactions between various metals and metal salt solutions in this microscale class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Four glass containers with bromothymol blue indicator solution displaying different colours, including red, yellow, green and blue

    Electrolysis using a microscale Hoffman apparatus

    Investigate the electrolysis of sodium sulfate solution using a microscale Hoffman apparatus in this class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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    The chemistry of silver

    Discover the properties of silver compounds with redox reactions, complex formation and colour/state changes. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • A section of the Periodic Table with the tiles for various transition metals

    Transition elements and complex compounds

    Try this microscale practical investigating the transition elements, complex formation and change in oxidation state. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Macro photograph of white tablets marked with the word aspirin

    Analysis of aspirin tablets on a microscale

    Try this microscale class practical to analyse aspirin tablets and find out how much salicylic acid is present. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Thermometer image

    The temperature changes induced by evaporation

    Explore the rate of evaporation for a trio of liquids, using just a temperature strip, and our worksheet. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Lemons image

    Properties of stereoisomers

    By soaking cotton wool in two limonene enantiomers, and adding a stereoisomer, students can explore the differences between each chemical and discuss how they each might react in different conditions. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • One pence pieces

    Turning copper coins into ‘silver’ and ‘gold’

    In association with

    Perform what looks like alchemy with ordinary copper coins in this teacher demonstration. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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    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. 

  • 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. 

  • test tube rack image

    The reactivity of the group 2 metals

    Discover more about group 2 metals with this experiment, where students can take control of their own observations and come to their own conclusions. 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.

  • 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. 

  • Bubbles image

    The electrolysis of solutions

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

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • Fume cupboard image

    Reacting elements with oxygen

    Different members of the periodic table will exhibit different reactions when exposed to oxygen, often through heating. This practical supports students to understand the diversity of chemicals and their principles.

  • Universal indicator image

    Creating an effervescent universal indicator ‘rainbow’

    This quick practical uses existing chemicals in your learning space, for students to observe the effervescent reaction that causes universal indicator to create a ‘rainbow’ of colour. Kit list and safety instructions included.

  • Magnesium strip image

    The reaction of magnesium with steam

    Plunge a burning magnesium ribbon into the steam above boiling water and allow the hydrogen that is formed to burn – or collect it over water and test it with a lighted spill.

  • Test tube on flame

    Making a reaction tube

    Guide students through this practical to create a reaction tube. 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.

  • Spilt ink

    Disappearing ink

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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cooking oil image

    Viscosity

    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.

  • Ammonium vanadate in conical flask

    The oxidation states of vanadium

    Introduce your students to the idea that different oxidation states of transition metal ions often have different colours, and that electrode potentials can be used to predict the course of the redox reactions. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Milk powder image

    Burning milk powder

    Gather a Bunsen burner, and some common powdered milk to help students grasp the ideas of surface area and reaction rates. Includes kit list and safety instructions. 

  • Pink solution in flask

    A visible activated complex

    A simple demonstration of catalysis also introducing the idea of an activated complex and to allow discussion of the mechanism of catalysis. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Foaming reaction beaker image

    Hydrogen peroxide decomposition using different catalysts

    Collect a range of catalysts to explore the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, paying close attention to the varied reaction rates. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Molten metal in crucible image

    Competition for oxygen

    Explore the reactions of metals when exposed to the oxide of another metal. When reactions like these occur, the two metals compete for the oxygen. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Potassium iodide pills image

    Electrolysis of potassium iodide solution

    Find out how the electrolysis of a potassium iodide solution works with this practical. Includes kit list, and safety instructions. 

  • Balloons of many different colours and sizes filling a room

    An alternative to using compressed gas cylinders

    Getting gas under pressure allows exciting demonstrations such as igniting balloons filled with hydrogen gas. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Splint on fire image

    Flame tests (the wooden splint method)

    Find a new method to perform flame tests using wooden splints soaked in chlorides. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

  • Nylon thread

    Making nylon: the ‘nylon rope trick’

    The ‘nylon rope trick’ is a classic of chemistry classrooms, by mixing decanedioyl dichloride and in cyclohexane you can create a solution that will form nylon strings when floated on an aqueous solution of 1,6-diaminohexane. Kit list and safety instructions included.

  • Chromatography spread image

    Neutralisation circles

    Support students to explore neutralisation circles in this experiment that can be performed with common chemistry classroom equipment. Kit list and safety instructions included. 

  • Methane bottle image

    The methane rocket

    Ignite methane with oxygen in a bottle, and amaze students with this methane rocket. Contains kit list and safety instructions.

  • Conical flask image

    The effect of concentration on reaction rate

    Students react sodium thiosulfate solution is reacted with acid – a sulfur precipitate forms. The time taken for a certain amount of sulfur to form can be used to indicate the rate of the reaction. Contains kit list and safety instructions.