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Chemistry Experiments

This is a collection of chemistry experiments and research projects. Most of the experiments involve general chemical principles. Sites offering general and physical science are included; too, providing the website offers chemistry experiments.

Younger Students 1-5

Blowing, Bouncing,
Bursting Bubbles

Bubble Bomb - Using baking soda and vinegar, you can pop a plastic bag with the power of fizz.

Balloon Blow-Up -Not all bubbles are made with soap!

Bubbularium - Make an observatory to see the amazing colors in bubbles!

It's All Done With Mirrors
Up Periscope! - Build a mirrored tube that lets you see around corners and over walls.

Mysterious Mixtures
Outrageous Ooze - This stuff can't make up its mind -- is it a liquid or a solid?

Go With the Flow - Spin the bottle to make beautiful swirling shapes!

It's Colorific!
Black Magic - Discover secret colors hidden in a black marker!

Reflecting Rainbows - Decorate your white walls with rainbow colors!

Surprising Structures
File Card Bridges - How many pennies will your bridge hold?

Geodesic Gumdrops - Make amazing architecture with gumdrops and toothpicks.

Dramatic Static
Super Sparker - Make very, very, very tiny lightning, anytime you want!

Remote Control Roller - Rub a balloon on your head, then watch a soda can race across the floor!

Seeing the Light
Pringles® Pinhole - Recycle a potato chip can into a simple camera.

Pictures From Light - With a lens, you can bend light to make pictures of the world.

Making a Sun Clock - Before there were clocks, people used shadows to tell time!

Taking Things Apart
Dissect a Disk - Find out what's inside a floppy disk.

Sink Or Swim
Salt Volcano - Make your own miniature "Lava Lite"

Glitter Globe - Make a fantastic toy that shimmers when you shake it.

The Amazing Water Trick - Do hot water and cold water mix?

Seeing Isn't Believing
Flipsticks - A do-it-yourself cartoon kit. It's easy to make pictures move!

Hear, Hear!
Ear Guitar - Share some scecret sounds with a friend.

Secret Bells - An ordinary metal spoon can make some astounding sounds!

CANdemonium - Recycle some cans to make after-dinner music!

Rings, Wings, and
Other Flying Things

Roto-Copter - This simple paper toy spins through the air like a mini-helicopter!

Spinning Blimps - Become an aircraft designer!

Hoopster - Most paper airplanes are flat, but these paper hoops can really fly!

What Do You Say?
I M O K. U R O K. - You can make sentences without words!

Making Changes
Crystal Creations - Grow spikes of crystals in the sun.

Mold Terrarium - Watch tiny blue, green, and white plants grow on leftover food.

Copper Caper - Watch old pennies turn bright and shiny right before your eyes!

Older Students 6-12

Chemistry Laboratory Safety Rules
Make your chemistry laboratory experience safe by following these simple rules.

Effect of Acids and Bases on the Browning of Apples
Perform an experiment to observe the effects of acids, bases, and water on the rate of browning of cut apples or other produce.

Identify an Unknown - Experiment with Chemical Reactions
Use this chemistry lesson plan to help students use the scientific method to design experiments to identify the components of an unknown mixture.

Baggie Chemistry - Experiment with Chemical Reactions
Introduce students to chemical reactions and experimentation using common materials and baggies.

Experimental Determination of Avogadro's Number
Did you know that Avogadro's number isn't a mathematically derived unit. The number of particles in a mole of a material is determined experimentally. This easy method uses electrochemistry to make the determination.

How to Make Aspirin - Acetylsalicylic Acid
Learn how to synthesize aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, from salicyclic acid.
Get information about the history of aspirin, the effects of salicylates, and see the structures of the reactants.

Make a Bouncing Polymer Ball
Use chemistry to make a bouncing polymer ball, then alter the procedure to see the effect the changes have on the charactertistics of the bouncing ball.

Consumer Chemicals
This is a collection of general chemistry lab experiments. The collection states that the materials derive from common consumer products or are inexpensive, but I disagree - you need a stocked chem lab to perform them. Good experiments, anyway.

Countertop Chemistry
This is a collection of activities relating to chemistry that can be performed using common household or grocery items. Each activity includes a description of materials, procedure, and teacher's notes. From North Carolina State University.

Edible/Inedible Experiments
Some of the science experiments listed here may be eaten before, during, or after the experiment, and some should not be eaten at all. They are categorized into the subjects of astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry (several), earth sciences, mathematics, and physics.

Kitchen Chemistry
Chemistry experiments and demonstrations, using common household products and kitchen ingredients.
Recommended age range is K-6.

Quick and Easy Activities
Hands-on science lessons for grades pre-K to 12.
All aspects of science are represented. The labs are very clearly explained, but be aware that many require special chemicals or a traditional lab setting.

Science Experiments You Can Do
This is a collection of physical science experiments and projects. So far, the activities are mainly presented as topics or ideas, so you will need to work up a lab or experiment.

SMILE Program Chemistry Index
This is a collection of around 200 single concept lessons. Some fall into the category of demonstrations and others are complete laboratory exercises. Hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology. Highly recommended!

T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project, The
This
is a series of experiments conducted during finals week, 1995, at Rice University. Most of these experiments can be repeated safely at home.

 

More Incredible Experiments

 

Afterimage

A flash of light prints a lingering image in your eye.

Anti-Gravity Mirror

It's all done with mirrors!

Balancing Ball

Suspend a ball in a stream of air.

Balancing Stick

Does it matter which end is up?

Benham's Disk

A rotating black-and-white disk produces the illusion of color.

Bernoulli Levitator

Suspend an object in air by blowing down on it.

Bicycle Wheel Gyro

A bicycle wheel acts like a giant gyroscope.

Bird in the Cage

Stare at a color and see it change.

Blind Spot

To see or not to see.

Blue Sky

Now you can explain why the sky is blue and the sunset is red.

Bone Stress

Polarized light reveals stress patterns in clear plastic

Bridge Light

A thin layer of air trapped between two pieces of Plexiglas™ produces rainbow-colored interference patterns.

Bronx Cheer Bulb

Some lightbulbs appear to wiggle and flash when you give them the raspberry, but the only thing wiggling is you.

Bubble Suspension

Soap bubbles float on a cushion of carbon dioxide gas.

Bubble Tray

Create giant bubbles.

Cardboard Tube Syllabus

Your brain combines information from your eyes in surprising ways.

Center of Gravity

How to balance a checkbook using the physics method.

Charge and Carry

Store up an electric charge, then make sparks.

Cheshire Cat

Make a friend disappear, leaving only a smile behind.

Circles of Magnetism I

You can make a magnetic field that's stronger than the earth's!

Circles of Magnetism IV

Two parallel, current-carrying wires exert forces on each other.

Cold Metal

"Cold" metal and "warm" wood may be the same temperature.

Colored Shadows

Shadows are not all black and white.

Condiment Diver

The world's simplest Cartesian diver.

Convection Currents

Make your own heat waves in an aquarium.

Cool Hot Rod

Objects change size when heated or cooled

Corner Reflector

See yourself as others see you.

Coupled Resonant Pendulums

These pendulums trade swings back and forth.

Coupled Resonant Pendulums 2

Take advantage of resonance.

Critical Angle

Why your phone calls don't leak out of optical fibers.

Curie Point

When a piece of iron gets too hot, it is no longer attracted to a magnet.

Cylindrical Mirror

This cylindrical mirror lets you see yourself as others see you.

Depth Spinner

What happens when you get off the merry-go-round?

Descartes' Diver

To paraphrase the French philosopher René Descartes: "I sink, therefore I am."

Diamagnetism

Push me a grape.

Diffraction

Light can bend around edges.

Dipping Bird

The dipping bird seems to go forever but it's not perpetual motion!

Disappearing Act

If you want to stay hidden, you'd better stay still.

Disappearing Glass Rods

You can make glass objects disappear.

Downhill Race

Two cylinders that look the same may roll down a hill at different rates.

Drawing Board 

A pendulum moving in two directions creates beautiful designs.

Duck Into Kaleidoscope

Make multiple images of yourself.

Eddy Currents

A magnet falls more slowly through a metallic tube than it does through a nonmetallic tube.

Electrical Fleas

Start your own electric flea circus!

Electroscope

What's your (electrical) sign?

Everyone Is You and Me

See yourself become someone else.

Fading Dot

Now you see it; now you don't. An object without a sharp edge can fade from your view.

Falling Feather

Prove to yourself that Galileo was right!

Far 0ut Corners

Your experience of the world influences what you see.

Fog Chamber

Make a portable cloud in a bottle. Now you see it, now you don't!

Gas Model

Caged molecules do their thing.

Geyser

Cyclic hot water fountain. 

Giant Lens

A lens creates an image that hangs in midair.

Giant Sieve Sorter

Create a series of boundaries that keep some things out while letting other things through.

Give and Take

Dark-colored materials both absorb and emit energy more readily than light-colored materials.

Glue Stick Sunset

Why is the sky blue? That's a sticky question.

Gray Step

Without a boundary, it's hard to distinguish different shades of gray.

 

Hand Battery

Your skin and two different metals create a battery.

Hand-Held Heat Engine

You can make the liquid in this toy rise and fall in a cycle.

Hot Spot

You can focus the invisible light from an electric heater.

Inverse Square Law

Why the world gets dark so fast outside the circle of the campfire.

Jacques Cousteau in Seashells

There's more to seeing than meets the eye.

Laser Jello

Use gelatin as a smoked lens, to view total internal reflection, and as a color filter.

Look Into Infinity

Images of images of images can repeat forever.

Magic Wand

See pictures in thin air.

Magnetic Lines of Force

Iron filings will trace out the lines of a magnetic field in three dimensions.

Magnetic Shielding

Magnetic lines stop here.

Magnetic Pendulums

Copper coils become electromagnetic swings.

Magnetic Suction

This experiment shows how your doorbell works.

Milk Makes Me Sick

Exploration of the basis of lactose intolerance.

Mirrorly a Window

What you see is often affected by what you expect to see.

Moire Patterns

When you overlap materials with repetitive lines, you create moire patterns.

Momentum Machine

How ice skaters, divers, and gymnasts get themselves spinning and twisting faster.

Motor Effect

A magnet exerts a force on a current-carrying wire.

Parabolas

It's all done with mirrors.

Peripheral Vision

We are not usually aware of our eyes' limitations.

Persistence of Vision

Your eye and brain hold on to a series of images to form a single complete picture.

Pie Pan Convection

By heating a solution of soap, water and food coloring, fluid motion can be visualized.

Pinhole Magnifier

Who needs expensive optical equipment?

Polarized Light Mosaic

With polarized light, you can make a stained glass window without glass.

Polarized Sunglasses

If you rotate a pair of polarizing sunglasses, you will find that they cut road glare much better in some positions than in others.

Proprioception

Wiggle where you're at.

Pupil

Your pupil changes size to control how much light enters your eye.

Radioactive Decay Model

Substitute coins for radiation.

Real Image

A snack version of Mirror Mirage.

Resonant Pendulum

Big swings from little pulls grow.

Resonant Rings

One reason not all buildings are equal in an earthquake.

Resonator

If you vibrate something at just the right frequency, you can get a big reaction.

Seeing Your Blind Spot

See your blind spot.

Seeing Your Retina

Catch a retinal net.

Short Circuit

What happens when you blow a fuse?

Size and Distance

A clueless way to determine the size of an object.

Slinky in hand

Making waves.

Soap Bubbles

Create geometric art with soap films.

Soap Film Painting

A soap film becomes an ever-changing work of art.

Solar Brightness

By finding a position at which the sun is as bright as the lamp the power output of the sun can be estimated.

Spectra

Fingerprints for light sources.

Spherical Reflections

Discover art and science in a myriad of spherical reflections.

Spinning Blackboard

Create graceful loops and spirals by drawing on a spinning dish.

Spinning Cylinder

Like a wheel within a wheel.

Squirming Palm

This visual illusion makes the palm of your hand appear to squirm and twist.

Strange Attractor

The attraction and repulsion of magnets produces entrancing, unpredictable motion.

Stripped Down Motor

As motors go, this is about as simple as it gets.

Take It From the Top

How does this stack up?

Thread the Needle

Using two eyes gives you depth perception.

The Three Little Pig(ments)

Investigate how light and color interact by aligning three colored and one black overhead transparencies.

Tired Weight

Calculate the weight of a car by using air pressure.

Touch the Spring

You can see the spring, but you can't touch it.

Vanna

A face seen upside down may hold some surprises.

Vector Toys

This toy uses components of force to walk and to stop at just the right time!

Vortex

Whirling water creates a tornado in a bottle.

Water Sphere Lens

Make a lens and a magnifying glass by filling a bowl with water.

Water Spinner

Rotating water has a curved surface.

Whirling Watcher

When you view short bursts of moving images, you see some interesting effects.

Your Sense of Taste

Relationship between taste and smell.