A series of short, fun videos exploring the chemistry of the alkali metals, taken from a lecture by Dr. Peter Wothers at the University of Cambridge.
Breaking down sodium azide into sodium and nitrogen - the reaction that makes an airbag work!
Watch how sodium tarnishes as it comes into contact with air
Using sodium peroxide to provide oxygen to burn some cereal!
Potassium metal reacts more easily with air than sodium and lithium
Potassium forms oxides, peroxides and superoxides when it reacts with oxygen.
The release of oxygen causes a violent reaction between potassium superoxide and lithium
Watch the two largest alkali metals react with the air
What would it be like if the sea contained caesium chloride, rather than sodium chloride?
Dramatic reaction of sodium and chlorine, forming salt!
Explosive reaction of potassium and iodine to form another salt, potassium iodide.
How are the alkali metals used in everyday life?
Dramatic demonstration of how energy can be released from sodium
Using what we know about the akali metals to create a pretty big bang!
A selection of curriculum-relevant resources and activities to use remotely with your 11–14 classes
Teach the extinguishing properties and density of CO₂ safely
Stretch it, bend it.. but defintiely don’t break it
Which material makes the warmest jacket? Investigate the insulating properties of various materials with this activity for ages 7–14
Help your students apply standard form in chemical equations
Develop students’ speaking and listening skills with this debate activity
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