Energy and change

Classroom resources featuring activities from our Energy and Change professional development 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. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; not all trainer activities have a corresponding classroom resource. In some circumstances there is variation between the training resource and classroom resource.

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Beyond appearances

Reviews of research on students’ misconceptions in conceptual areas of chemistry. Misconceptions are described and discussed, together with indications of their origins.

Bubbles

Exploding soap bubbles

Soap bubbles containing a mixture of oxygen and methane can be used to produce spectacular explosions and impressive shock-waves that will always please

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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.

A photograph of a glass beaker containing a liquid, with a gas visibly rising from the top

Endothermic solid–solid reactions

In association with

Observe an endothermic reaction between two solids in this demonstration or class experiment. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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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

A photograph of a spirit burner and orange-red flame on a black background

Comparing heat energy from burning alcohols

In association with

Investigate the amounts of heat energy produced by the combustion of different alcohols in this class experiment. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

thermometer strip

Energy changes in neutralisation

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