Energy and change – pupil resources

This collection of classroom resources features all the pupil activities from our Developing expertise in teaching energy and change course for teachers. This collection is most valuable to those who have attended this course and wish to put into practice with their students some of the ideas and activities presented as part of that event.


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The ‘whoosh’ bottle demonstration

In association with

A mixture of alcohol and air in a large polycarbonate bottle is ignited. The resulting rapid combustion reaction, often accompanied by a dramatic ‘whoosh’ sound and flames, demonstrates the large amount of energy released in the combustion of alcohols.

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Fat-pan fire!

In association with

The context of a fat-pan (chip-pan) catching fire is used to demonstrate the conditions required to start combustion, and how to put such a fire out safely.

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Chip pan fire demonstration

In association with

A video and teacher notes demonstrating the dangers of adding water to a fat fire.

Old five pound note

Money to burn

In association with

Surprise your students by soaking a piece of paper (or an old £5 or £10 note) in a mixture of ethanol and water and igniting it. Watch as the ethanol burns… but the paper does not.

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Spontaneous exothermic reaction

In association with

In this demonstration experiment, a mixture of glycerol (propane-1,2,3-triol) and potassium manganate(VII) crystals bursts into flame, giving off clouds of steam, after a short time lag.

Beaker containing blue liquid and dry ice on top

Endothermic solid-solid reactions

In association with

Observe an endothermic reaction as solid hydrated barium hydroxide is mixed with solid ammonium chloride to produce a liquid that evolves into ammonia gas. The temperature drops dramatically to about -20 °C.

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Exothermic or endothermic?

In association with

Some reactions give out heat and others take in heat. In exothermic reactions the temperature goes up, in endothermic reactions the temperature goes down. In this experiment, various reactions are examined. Temperatures are measured to decide whether a particular reaction is exothermic or endothermic.

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Energy in or out - classifying reactions

In association with

Students carry out test-tube reactions and detect whether the process gives out or takes in energy (exothermic or endothermic reaction).

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Exothermic metal displacement reactions

In association with

Students add powdered metals to a copper(II) sulfate solution and measure the temperature rises.

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Measure enthalpy changes

Probe your students’ understanding of this fundamental concept and reflect on your demonstrations with our practical tips

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Heat energy from alcohols

In association with

This experiment compares the amounts of heat energy produced by burning various alcohols.

thermometer strip

Energy changes in neutralisation

Study energy changes in two chemical reactions by performing the experiment on temperature strips