Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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  • Observations, Scientific Method | Middle School

    Lab: Which Paint is the most Cost-Effective

    In this lab, students will practice implementing the scientific method in order compare the properties of different paint samples through a variety of testing. Students will research consumer reports, hypothesize, and conduct specific tests in order to determine which brand of paint is the most cost effective.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Polymers, Mixture, Scientific Method, Chemical Properties | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Exploring the Chemistry of Oil and Acrylic Paints

    In this lesson students learn about the chemistry of oil and acrylic paints. They make their own paint, and complete an experiment to collect qualitative and quantitative data through a series of tests. Students will also apply the concepts of physical and chemical change to the results of this controlled experiment.

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

    Lab: 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.

  • Observations, Scientific Method | High School

    Lesson Plan: Is it Real Science or Pseudoscience?

    In this lesson, students will deepen their knowledge of the scientific method by learning how to determine if researched information is valid and if it should be used for gaining or furthering our scientific knowledge. Students will view the documentary “Mermaids: The Body Found”, a pseudo-documentary that was later reported to be a hoax by the Discovery Channel. They will then use a “Baloney Detection Kit” to analyze the authenticity of information presented through different media as scientific fact.

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

    Lab: Effect of Salt Concentration on Plants

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

  • Chemical Change, Melting Point, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Scientific Method | Middle School

    Lab: S'more Change Please

    In this lab, students will be able to demonstrate the difference between a physical and chemical change by making ooey, gooey, yet yummy S’mores!

  • Chemical Change, Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Intermolecular Forces, Scientific Method, Monomer | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Watch the Baby! Superabsorbent Polymer

    In this lesson, students will learn about how polymers, specifically superabsorbent polymers, work. Through lab activities, students will investigate polymer properties.

  • Interdisciplinary, Molecular Structure, Scientific Method | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: The Effect of Different Foods on Mealworms

    In this lesson, students will look at the chemistry of the molecules of carbohydrates, fats, and lipids, and they will use this information to determine a diet for their mealworm and will collect information about the mealworm to test a hypothesis.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Melting Point, Phase Changes, Scientific Method | Elementary School

    Lab: Ice Cube Race

    In this lab, students will investigate what factors can influence the change in state of matter from a solid to a liquid. They will have the opportunity to make a hypothesis and participate in the design and completion of an experiment.

  • Observations, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Scientific Method | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Engineering Project

    In this activity, students work together in a small team in order to solve a problem and achieve a common goal. Students will need to work collaboratively in order to be successful. They will be required to communicate their ideas both verbally and in written form, assign duties, design and carry out a procedure in this activity. They will also be challenged with problem solving when/if their original plan fails.

  • Physical Properties, Polymers, Mixture, Scientific Method | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lab: Polymer Investigation

    In this lab, students will follow the procedure for creating a polymer, flubber, which will be similar in consistency to Silly Putty. Students will then design an experiment to test a physical property of the flubber that they have created using the scientific method.

  • Observations, Density, Interdisciplinary, Scientific Method | Elementary School, Middle School

    Lab: Crush's Dilemma

    In this lab, students explore the concept of density. They will examine the density of a plastic sandwich bag compared to water. Students will create their own experiment and investigate factors that affect floating and sinking.

  • Observations, Inferences, Scientific Method | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Black Box

    In this activity, students will experience how scientists carry out a scientific investigation through inquiry.

  • Percent Composition, Introduction, Percent Composition, Scientific Method | Middle School

    Lab: Mass Percent

    In this lesson, students will develop a theory of how to calculate percent composition.

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