Kitchen Chemistry - High School


This collection of AACT resources highlights all of the hands-on physical science and chemistry activities that are available in our high school library, and require only tools and/or materials that are typically found in the kitchen. All of these resources include a list of required materials and detailed background information for teachers, or other adults, who are supervising the activity. There are also student activity sheets, and many include an answer key. There is an equipment list and a table of conversion factors available in the sidebar.

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25 Classroom Resources

  • Activity | Atomic Mass, Isotopes, Subatomic Particles | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Candy Isotopes & Atomic Mass

    In this activity, students will learn about isotopes and be introduced to basic average atomic mass calculations. They will use simple numbers and M&M candies to model ratios that approximate real world atomic mass values on the periodic table.

  • Lab | Electrons, Ions, Model of the Atom, Periodic Table, Subatomic Particles, Valence Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Sweet Model of the Atom

    In this lesson, students will use different candies to represent electrons, protons, and neutrons to gain a better understanding of atoms, ions, and isotopes.

  • Lab | Density, Measurements | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Can it Float?

    In this lab, students will investigate the relationships between mass, volume, density and buoyancy in common objects. Students will be tasked with determining the volume of a variety of objects as well as interpreting the meaning of their buoyancy in water.

  • Lab | Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Little Miss Muffet

    In this lab, students make homemade glue from milk and compare it to commercial glue.

  • Lab | Inferences, Intermolecular Forces, Mixtures, Observations, Scientific Method | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Magic Milk

    In this lab, students will investigate the addition of detergent to a mixture of whole milk and food coloring. Students will attempt to explain the cause of their observations. Also, students will have the opportunity to manipulate the experiment and determine how other variables may impact the results.

  • Demonstration | Density, Measurements | Elementary School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Sinking Soda

    In this teacher led demonstration, students will compare their observations when unopened cans of diet and regular soda are placed in a large container of water. They will use their observations to help differentiate between several fundamental chemistry concepts: mass, volume, and density.

  • Demonstration | Chemical Change, Experimental Design, Inferences, Observations, Scientific Method | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. What Causes Yeast to Ferment?

    In this lesson, students will observe and verify molasses sugar content as a result of its ability to ferment yeast. They will compare how molasses allows yeast to ferment with other sugar solutions as well as a sugar-free solution.

  • Demonstration | Inferences, Molecular Motion, Observations, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    What is Temperature?

    In this demonstration, students will observe food dye mixing with water at different temperatures.

  • Activity | Molecular Structure, Physical Properties, Polarity | Elementary School, High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. What Makes Water So Special?

    In this activity, students will become familiar with the special properties of water by completing several activities that investigate the following physical properties/phenomena: cohesion, adhesion, surface tension, and capillary action.

  • Activity | Establishing Equilibrium | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Equilibrium Introduction

    In this activity, students perform a hands-on activity that models chemical equilibrium based on the article Equilibrium: A Teaching/Learning Activity by Audrey H. Wilson from the Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, No. 9, September 1998.

  • Demonstration | Kinetic Molecular Theory | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Diffusion of Particles

    In this demonstration students will experience diffusion, and then model the process of diffusion of microwave popcorn “flavor particles” in a room filled with still air.

  • Demonstration | Pressure, Temperature | Elementary School, Middle School

    EGGsperiment

    In this demonstration, students will learn how temperature change affects air pressure, while observing an egg getting sucked into a bottle without being touched!

  • Demonstration | Gas Laws, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Pressure, Volume | High School

    Inflate and Shrink Wrap a Student

    In this demonstration, students will observe two situations. First a student will be lifted off the desk as other students blow air into straws connected to a garbage bag in order to inflate it. Secondly, the class will observe a garbage bag shrink wrapping a student as a vacuum removes air from the bag.

  • Lab | Heat, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Temperature, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Mega Marshmallows

    In this lab, students will investigate the Kinetic Molecular Theory and particle motion while experimenting with a marshmallow. Students will observe how an increase in kinetic energy will cause particles to increase in motion. This concept will be extended into a discussion about additional real world thermal expansion examples.

  • Demonstration | Chemical Change, Reaction Rate, Reaction Rate | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Comparing Rates of Reaction

    In this demonstration, students observe the effect of temperature, concentration, and particle size on the rate of a chemical reaction.

  • Lab | Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Melting Point, Molecular Structure | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Ionic vs. Covalent Compounds

    In this lab, students will compare two seemingly similar substances, salt and sugar. Through melting a sample of each substance and analyze of their chemical composition, students will draw conclusions regarding ionic and covalent compounds.

  • Activity | Dimensional Analysis, Molar Mass, Mole Concept, Molecular Formula | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Calculating Moles in Daily Life

    In this activity, students will use dimensional analysis to complete calculations and conversions for the number of moles, atoms, and molecules in several everyday household items using collected data.

  • Activity | Balancing Equations, Limiting Reactant, Stoichiometry | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Farfalle Stoichiometry

    In this activity, students will use a hands-on manipulative (pasta) to represent the stoichiometric relationships in a compound and in a balanced equation. They will determine the limiting reactant for a given amount of two reactants and they will identify the excess reactant. In the extension exercise, students will balance the equations that are used in the production of ammonia, a common chemical fertilizer.

  • Lab | Limiting Reactant | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Limiting Reactant Candy

    In this lab, students will understand what is meant by the term, "limiting reactant" and be able to identify the limiting reactant in a non-chemistry situation.

  • Demonstration | Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Conservation of Mass, Conservation of Mass, Limiting Reactant, Observations, Stoichiometry | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Understanding Limiting Reactants

    In this demonstration, the teacher will perform a series of reactions between acetic acid (vinegar) and varying amounts of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in order to inflate several balloons. Students will observe the reactions and analyze the quantities of reactants used as well as the results in order to understand the concept of limiting reactants.

  • Demonstration | Physical Change, Solubility, Solute & Solvent | Elementary School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Crystallization of Sugar

    In this demonstration, students will observe how to make rock candy in order to understand how sugar crystals form. They will be able to explain what a supersaturated solution is and how it is relevant to sugar crystallization.

  • Lab | Concentration, Interdisciplinary, Measurements, Mixtures, Scientific Method | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Effect of Salt Concentration on Plants

    In this lab, students will observe how salt concentration can affect the structure of a potato tuber.

  • Lab | Freezing Point, Freezing Point Depression, Phase Changes | High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Freezing Ice Cream

    In this lab, students will investigate changing states of matter, chemical reactions, and the properties of ice and salt while creating their own ice cream.

  • Activity | Concentration, Molarity | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Particle Level Molarity

    In this activity, students are introduced to molarity at the particle level. Students will activate their prior knowledge by demonstrating their understanding of concentration by preparing several Kool-Aid drinks, and then applying that information at the particle level to various models.

  • Lab | Precipitate, Saturated/Unsaturated/Supersaturated, Solubility, Solute & Solvent | Elementary School, High School, Middle School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Winter Crystals

    In this lab, students will create a supersaturated solution by dissolving borax in boiling water. They will create a snowflake using pipe cleaner to suspend in the solution, which will serve as a nucleation site for crystallization as the solution cools and remains undistributed overnight. This lab gives students an opportunity to experience the exciting crystallization process and become more familiar with an engaging chemistry spectacle!

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