Videos


Teacher Members have access to our full repository of videos and video questions to use in your classroom. You can also share videos with your students for 7 days by generating a Student Pass. To view a video, click the Video’s title.

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    Ingenious Video 10: Oversexed Moths are Ruining Apples for Everyone

    Codling moths may look harmless, but their larvae wreak havoc in orchards, burrowing into fruit and eating them from the inside out. Pesticides have always been the solution to the old “worm in the apple” problem, but pesticides kill all the insects in the field, even the good ones. Instead of pesticides, farmers may soon use pheromones, those scented chemical messages animals release at mating time. Spreading synthetic, species-specific pheromones keeps male codling moths from finding females to mate with. No mating means no eggs, no larvae, and no more bad apples. Scaling up agricultural pheromones has proved difficult, but innovative approaches to pheromone production (using yeast cells) and distribution (with the help of customized weather stations) are starting to make it happen.

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    Ingenious Video 9: The World’s Smallest Water Treatment Plant Comes in a Packet

    About 800,000,000 people worldwide – that’s almost one in ten, more than the population of the U.S. – don’t have reliable access to clean water. Using a technology first developed to reuse dirty laundry water, scientists have developed a water treatment plant the size of a teabag. Inside, a potent chemical triple-threat removes microbes, heavy metals, silt and dirt to produce clean, safe water one bucket at a time.

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    Ingenious Video 7: The World has a Receipt Problem

    The receipts you take home from the store – or stuff in your bag, or lose in your car -- employ a printing method that’s been around since the 1970s. Thermal printing involves heat-sensitive inks called leuco dyes that show up when they react with an acid developer embedded in the paper. Not only do these inks fade easily, but receipts that use them aren’t recyclable, and could even be dangerous to your health. Taking a cue from a failed experiment, scientists are developing a new kind of receipt paper that will use the same thermal printers without leuco dyes. Instead of acid developers, this paper is coated in reflective microspheres that collapse under heat, allowing regular ink underneath to show through.

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    Ingenious Video 8: Is the Answer to Overfishing… Algae?

    Omega-3s are an essential nutrient that humans have to get from fish. But many of the world’s wild fish species are in crisis because we’ve taken too many of them from the ocean. So the answer is to farm more of our fish, right? While fish-farming relieves some pressure on the ocean’s wild species, it also contributes to that pressure, since farmed fish are fed fishmeal made from wild-caught fish. That’s because fish don’t make their own Omega-3s either. Like us, they get them from their diet. Using technology that came out of the space program, scientists have developed a way to cut out the middle-fish from the food chain and harvest Omega-3s for fishmeal directly from the source: algae.

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    Ingenious Video 5: Making Shipping Greener with Hairy Ships

    The “fouling” of boats — when aquatic animals like barnacles and tubeworms attach to hulls — has been a nuisance for as long as we’ve been sailing the seas. Fouling messes up a vessel’s streamlined shape, decreasing its speed, maneuverability, and in modern times, its fuel-efficiency. Fouling spikes the carbon footprint of the shipping industry, already greater than that of most countries. For centuries, people used copper coatings to prevent fouling. Modern solutions use toxic chemical paints that pollute the water, kill marine life, and contribute to the degradation of our oceans when they wear off. A new approach is trying to work with nature instead of against it. Taking inspiration from the Salvinia plant, which is covered in tiny hair-like structures that make it basically waterproof, scientists are developing a stick-on silicone coating for ships that prevents animal hitchhikers from getting a foothold.

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    Ingenious Video 6: Kill More Germs by Cleaning … Less?

    There’s clean, and then there’s CLEAN. Even if something looks clean, it might still be harboring microbes – many of them harmless, some of them definitely not. With most of the ways that we clean and disinfect — that is, kill germs — the clean doesn’t last as long as you might think. Disinfectants work by attacking bacterial membranes and viral protein coats, breaking them down so that those germs fall apart and die. But the germaphobes were always right: As soon as a disinfectant dries, and a surface is re-exposed, like if someone touches or (worse) sneezes on it, it needs be disinfected all over again. The next generation of cleaning products, however, add a trick: they lay down an incredibly thin polymer layer that keeps the germ-killing ingredients in place and effective for 24 hours at a time.

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    Ingenious Video 3: This Sandwich Will Save Your Life in an Arc Flash

    It’s never fun when your clothes catch on fire. And while “stop, drop, and roll” may be a good idea sometimes, in more extreme cases, you need a better plan. Every day, industrial workers, firefighters, and soldiers risk fiery situations that might seem hard to imagine. In an arc flash event, for one, temperatures can jump to metal-melting levels in milliseconds. How can anyone possibly survive that? Well, take a tip from a club sandwich, because it’s all about the layers. The composite fabrics that protect life and limb in these situations rely on some incredible, multilayered chemistry, including the ability to quickly form a protective carbonaceous crust around the wearer.

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    Ingenious Video 4: How Science Is Fixing Recycling's Grossest Problem

    Polypropylene recycling has a problem: It stinks. Food and other residues are almost impossible to remove entirely from polypropylene, a.k.a the number “5” plastic of grocery-store fame. Those residues – anything from yogurt to garlic, from fish oil to baby food – not only stick to polypropylene, they degrade there and start to smell even worse! Current polypropylene recycling techniques are more down-cycling than re-cycling. Unless you break down its molecules through a highly energy-intensive refining process, the material can only get a second life as a black trash can or an underground pipe – wherever its smell doesn’t matter. But a new technique, called dissolution recycling, is changing all that. Dissolution recycling uses a special hydrocarbon polymer solvent under finely controlled conditions of temperature and pressure to eliminate ALL of the contaminants embedded in the plastic.

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    Ingenious Video 1: The Strange Chemistry Behind Why You Get Sick on Planes

    The compound ozone, a known respiratory irritant, exists in high concentrations at flight altitudes, making the “fresh air” sucked in by air conditioners at those heights, well, not so fresh. In fact ozone exposure may be responsible for many of the short-term discomforts we associate with air travel. What’s more, ozone can react with other compounds in the air -- even the oils of our skin -- to produce other toxic compounds, like aldehydes and ketones. Some planes have catalytic converters, like the ones in cars, which use transition metals to turn ozone into breathable oxygen. But not every plane has one!

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    Ingenious Video 2: What Birds Know About Color that You Don't

    We’ve been using pigments and dyes for thousands of years, but they’re not the whole story when it comes to making color. “Structural” color occurs when tiny nanostructures interact with light waves, amplifying certain colors and canceling others. From brilliant bird feathers to butterfly wings, mole hairs to octopus skin, structural color is everywhere in the natural world. Researchers have tried for years to harness this incredible natural phenomenon in a useful way. Because these colors are so small and complex, and therefore hard to copy, their efforts have met with little success. But novel research using a computer model based in repeated random sampling — a so-called “Monte Carlo” model — is showing promise. Using this approach, scientists have been able to mimic the gorgeous blue of the mountain bluebird in a thin film of reflective beads, leapfrogging millennia of evolution.

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    Spellbound Episode 1—A Sign on the Door: Ahmed Zewail, Ph.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Ahmed Zewail, Ph.D.

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    Spellbound Episode 2 —Finding Her Way: Kristala L. Jones Prather, Ph.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Kristala L. Jones Prather, Ph.D.

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    Spellbound Episode 3—A Yellow Sweater: Bassam Shakhashiri, Ph.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Bassam Shakhashiri, Ph.D.

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    Spellbound Episode 4—When Girls Didn't "Do" Science: Mamie Moy

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Mamie Moy.

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    Spellbound Episode 5— A Born Chemist: Isiah Warner, Ph.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Isiah Warner, Ph.D.

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    Spellbound Episode 6 —Mentors Made the Difference: Nancy Jackson, Ph.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Nancy Jackson, Ph.D.

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    Spellbound Episode 7—Heroes Made the Difference: Peter Agre, M.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Peter Agre, M.D.

  • Spellbound episode 8—the winds of war

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    Spellbound Episode 8—The Winds of War: Helen Free, Ph.D.

    Produced for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry, the video series Spellbound, tells the story of scientists whose childhood curiosity about everyday things helped them launch careers in the lab, win Nobel Prizes and make other achievements. Their early childhood experiences may encourage young people into careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This episode features Helen Free, Ph.D.

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    Frontiers of Chemistry

    This video explores new scientific developments that were made possible by the application of fundamental chemistry concepts. Students will learn about exciting advances in science and technology focused on three main topics: Solar Cells, 3D Printing and Micro Machines.

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    Video 1: Safety Mindset

    The chemistry lab is an amazing place! Through experiments and demonstrations your high school students have been discovering that chemistry is more than just a collection of facts and formulas-- it’s a way of observing and understanding the very real properties of matter all around them. However, the lab can also be a dangerous place. Contrary to what your students might have seen in films and TV, safety is a core value of chemistry—it is essential to everything they do in the lab. It begins with their mindset, the attitudes and beliefs they bring to class with them every day. Use this video to introduce your students to elements of safe importance of safety mindset in the chemistry lab.

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    Video 2: Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

    Preparation and planning are key to working in the chemistry lab. To be prepared, your students must understand the hazards of any chemicals they will be working with. The place to find that information is the Safety Data Sheet or SDS. The SDS provides detailed information about the properties of a chemical, its hazards, and how to protect yourself from those hazards. Use this video, to guide your students through 16 sections of the SDS for isopropyl alcohol to demonstrate importance of SDS information.

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    Video 3: How to Dress for the Lab? And what about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

    Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for short is one of the main ways for you and your students to stay protected from injury in the lab. PPE includes things like goggles, gloves, lab coats or aprons. These are designed to protect eyes, hands and skin, as well as clothing, from exposure to chemicals. PPE is the most obvious way of preventing contact with chemicals--but it is not the first line of defense. Use these video to teach your students that before they put on any PPE, why they should dress properly for lab.

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    Video 4: Preparing for Emergencies

    There is an old saying that you should always plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. This is good advice in the lab as well. Use this video to teach your students about two lab emergencies that carry a high risk of injury--spills and fires. The videos describes concrete steps to prevent these emergencies and goes over some of the safety equipment used to deal with them.

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    Video 5: RAMP (For Students)

    Use this video to teach your students a simple yet powerful tool for protecting you and your classmates in the lab. The tool is called RAMP. RAMP stands for: Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies.

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    Video 6: RAMP (For Teachers)

    As a teacher, there are steps you can take to make sure your students are as safe as possible while exploring and experimenting in the lab. In this video, we discuss some ideas to help you to set up a safe lab experiment. We use RAMP, the acronym for lab safety. RAMP stands for Recognize hazards; Assess risks; Minimize risks and Prepare for emergencies. RAMP is a simple yet powerful tool to help you prepare for and safely carry out any lab activity with your students.

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    The Future of Paint Video

    This video explores the fascinating and innovative scientific advancements of paint. Students will learn how the molecular components in paint are helping to evolve in the world around them. Futuristic paint is capable of replacing light switches, conducting electricity, and regulating temperature amongst other things!

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    Color Matching Paint Video

    This video explains how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. Students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

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    What are Pigments? Video

    This video discusses the chemistry of pigment molecules and how they are used to give paints their specific color. Students will learn about the importance of a pigment’s molecular structure, how they are physically suspended to create a paint color, as well as how they interact with light.

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    What is Paint? Video

    This video investigates the composition of paint, while analyzing the fundamental chemistry principles of its main components. Students will learn about the differences between three common paint types, water colors, oil-based and acrylic paint as well as the chemistry of each.

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    Lise Meitner Video

    This video tells the story of Lise Meitner, a pioneering female scientist in the field of nuclear chemistry, who was denied a Nobel Prize but has an Element named in her honor.

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    Hybrid and Electric Cars Video

    This video explores the chemistry in the batteries that power hybrid and electric cars.

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    Niels Bohr Video

    This video tells the story of Niels Bohr, a great scientist who redefined how we think about atoms and the electron. Bohr’s model of the atom helped to advance understanding of subatomic particles, and holds an important place in the history and development of the atomic theory.

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    Aluminum Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about aluminum.

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    The Temperature Guys Video

    This video tells the story of how temperature as we currently know it evolved. The first thermometers invented in the early 1600s are very different than ones we use today!

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    The Internal Combustion Engine Video

    This video investigates both the mechanical and the chemical processes used in the internal combustion engine, as well as the history and evolution of the combustion engine.

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    Silicon Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about silicon.

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    Robert Boyle Video

    This video tells the story of Robert Boyle, a great chemist and discoverer of Boyle's Law, which describes the relationship between pressure and volume of a gas.

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    Phosphorous Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells the story of how phosphorus was at the center of the race to discover the structure of DNA.

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    Mercury Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about Mercury.

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    Marie Curie Video

    This video tells the story about Marie Curie, including her Nobel Prizes, radiation experiments, and discovery of new elements. Irene Curie is also mentioned.

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    Manganese Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about manganese.

  • Gallium

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    Gallium Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about gallium.

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    Ernest Rutherford Video

    Rutherford's initial research was studying alpha particles, which he hypothesized were helium nuclei. With the help of Hans Geiger, Rutherford conducted the gold foil experiment, which justifies that the nucleus of an atom is a dense collection of protons and contains the majority of an atom’s mass. It also inferred that most of the atom is empty space and electrons are not located in the nucleus. He won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908 for his studies on radioactive substances.

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    Dimitri Mendeleev Video

    This video tells the story of how Dimitri Mendeleev organized the periodic table, even leaving gaps to be filled in with elements that weren't yet discovered.

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    Catalytic Converters Video

    This video investigates the role of a catalytic converter and its corresponding chemical reactions within a vehicle. Students will learn about both oxidation and reduction reactions and how they, in combination with a catalyst, can impact the molecules released in a car’s exhaust.

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    Cadmium Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about cadmium.

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    Hydrogen Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about hydrogen.

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    History of the Periodic Table Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells the story of the development of the periodic table. He also pays tribute to each of the major scientific contributors, including Dimitri Mendeleev, who made great discoveries through their efforts to best organize the elements.

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    Astatine Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about astatine, the rarest element in the universe.

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    Arsenic Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about arsenic, a deadly element that was once referred to as the "Inheritance Powder".

  • Helium

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    Helium Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about helium.

  • Gold

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    Gold Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about gold.

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    Antoine Lavoisier Video

    This video tells the story of Antoine Lavoisier who many consider to be the father or modern chemistry. Lavoisier discovered oxygen and hydrogen and first proposed the Law of Conservation of Mass.

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    Ancient Chemistry Video

    This video traces the history of chemistry from the discovery of fire, through the various metal ages, and finally to the great philosophers.

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    Amedeo Avogadro Video

    This video tells the story of Amedeo Avogadro, the scientist given credit for the mole concept, but who discovered other things in chemistry too.

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    Alternative Fuels Video

    This video analyzes alternatives to petroleum based fossil fuels, such as biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells.

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    Acid & Base Guys Video

    This video tells the story of how the definition of acids and bases has evolved from Lavoisier, to Arrhenius, Bronsted-Lowry, and Lewis.