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