Chemistry Laboratory Experiments

There are a variety of activities for Chemistry. You can find some of our more commonly requested activities below the request form on this page, or you can view our up-to-date complete list of all activities:

Chemistry Middle School complete list

Chemistry High School complete list

Chemistry Scheduling Form for activities below

Chemistry Feedback Form for activities below

New Activities for Chemistry

Periodic Table Review – using Spheros

We have large periodic tables available. Teachers can ask a question, and students can drive Spheros to the correct location on the periodic table. Students can also program the Spheros to display the answer (up to two characters). Contact us for suggestions / help planning a unique lesson or review session!

Review / Test prep activities

We can design fun, unique review sessions for nearly any topic using our programmable Spheros. (No prior programming experience needed.) Ask us for suggestions for your next review session!

Commonly Requested Activities for Chemistry

 Alternative energy

Fuel cell cars: Students use solar panels to induce electrolysis of water and collect the hydrogen produced.  The hydrogen is then used to run fuel cell cars.  Students may also calculate the mpg for the fuel cell cars and compare that to traditional gasoline cars. (45-90 minutes; 1-2 class periods)

Fuel Cell Car Lab 

Expanded Fuel Cell Car Lab  Fuel Cell Car and Solar Panel Fuel Cell Car and Solar Panel

Atomic Emission Spectra: spectrometers, spectrum tubes, and accessories

Uses a LabQuest and Vernier Emissions Spectrum Tube Carousel to study the emissions of 6 known gases, then determine the composition of an unknown mixture.

File forthcoming; email us for more info


Students will predict if a material will sink or float. Then they will measure mass and volume to determine density of a variety of cubes (metals, woods, plastics). They also determine density from the linear regression line of a mass vs volume graph. Finally, they will find percent error by comparing the calculated mass vs actual mass of a block.

Emissions Spectra

Students use a LabQuest, SpectroVis, and Vernier Emissions Spectrum Tube Carousel to study the spectra of 6 known gases, then determine the identity of an unknown gas.

FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy)

Our FTIR spectrometer is used in a variety of activities: identification of fibers and fabrics in a forensic analysis, to obtain spectra of several pure liquids and identify an unknown, to compare and identify adhesive tape and labels, and to analyze and identify plastics. This equipment can also be borrowed and used for other activities that fit your curriculum. See the full list for activities we have for the FTIR.

Gas Chromatography

Vernier Mini GC Vernier Mini GCThe Vernier mini-GC is used to measure and analyze the retention times of known ketones and ketone mixtures, then identify an unknown ketone.  This equipment is also used in a forensics setting, to identify an unknown liquid.

Heist GC of ketones

Heat Energy of Fuels

Students determine the heat energy of various fuels and compare them to ethanol and bio-diesel. This is both a good activity for chemistry students and environmental studies students.

Melting Point

We have both Vernier Melt Stations and Mel-Temps. Students use this equipment to determine melting points of compounds – to learn about melting points, to identify an unknown compound, and to verify a compound synthesis and/or purity.

 Nuclear Radiation

Students study nuclear radiation with small radioactive sources of Polonium-210, Strontium-90, and Cobalt-60.  Activities can include some or all of the following: the penetrating ability of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation; the effect of distance on nuclear radiation; shielding and radiation.

Alpha, Beta, Gamma

Spectrophotometric Analysis

Analysis of sunblock: students use a UV-Vis spectrometer to determine the most effective sunblock.

Visible spectra of commercial dyes: Students measure the spectrum of various dyes and dye mixtures, then identify the dyes in an unknown mixture.


Spheros are paired with a Kindle Fire (provided) through the SpheroEdu app. Beginners can draw a path for the Sphero robot to follow, intermediate users can drag and drop blocks of code, and advanced users can write text programs using JavaScript. Provide your own activities, or use one of the SpheroEdu prepared modules aligned to NGSS, CCSS, and various state standards.

Contact Science In Motion staff for more information.

Thin Layer & Paper Chromatography

Analgesics: Students run TLC on acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. They then identify three unknown analgesics made from a mixture of the above.

Ink: Students run TLC on various inks to determine an unknown ink sample (often designed as a forensics experiment).

TLC of ink middle school

Lipstick: Students run TLC on lipstick samples, then match an unknown sample to one of the knowns (often designed as a forensics experiment).