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.


Beyond Appearances: Students misconceptions about basic chemical ideas

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


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

Large plastic water bottle required for whoosh bottle demonstration.

The ‘whoosh’ bottle demonstration

In association with

This exciting demonstration is a combustion reaction where a mixture of alcohol and air in a large bottle is ignited. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A large fire rising from a black flying pan on a kitchen stove

Fat-pan fires and the conditions for combustion

In association with

Use this demonstration to illustrate the conditions required to start combustion, and how to put out a pan fire safely. Includes kit list and safety instructions.


Chip pan fire demonstration

In association with

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

A macro photograph of four paper five pound notes on a wooden surface

Burning money: what makes combustion happen?

In association with

Surprise your students by soaking a piece of paper (or an old £5 note) in ethanol and water and igniting it. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A purple-red flame against a black background

A spontaneous exothermic reaction

In association with

Illustrate the reaction between glycerol and potassium manganate(VII) to produce flames and steam in this demonstration. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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.

Measuring the temperature of a liquid to determine whether the reaction is exothermic or endothermic

Exothermic or endothermic? Classifying reactions

In association with

Decide whether various reactions are exothermic or endothermic by measuring temperature change in this practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A piece of zinc placed in blue copper sulfate solution in a glass beaker, with a dark coating of copper resulting from the reaction that takes place

Exothermic metal displacement reactions

In association with

Try this class experiment to explore what happens when different metals are added to a copper(II) sulfate solution. Includes kit list and safety instructions.


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.

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.