Chemistry and the Environment
Chemistry and the Environment covers a lot of ground, from climate science to water to recycling. Learn more with these links, including the Earth's ozone layer, greenhouse gases, forming a stream team, making a mini ocean model, recycling your old phone, and more.
- Bush Fires in Australia and Climate Change
How do the widespread fires in Australia potentially relate to climate change? This scientist takes a look.
- Climate Science: More Than Just a Weather Report
Collect particles from air, test sunscreen, plus learn what a cat knows about greenhouse gases.
- UV Bead Bracelet
Science meets fashion with this ultraviolet bead jewelry. Wear it, then use it for an experiment!
- Meet Me in the Mesosphere
Where do you want to meet up this afternoon? How about the mesosphere? It’s a great place for atmospheric investigations.
- Do-It-Yourself Weathervane
Tools for observing the weather go “old school.” Put together this weathervane to show wind direction with office supplies.
- Cool It!
Can this homemade refrigerator keep your soda cool? Find out as you explore evaporative cooling.
- Applications of Chemistry Through Climate Science
Black carbon, greenhouse gases, ice cores, ozone. Plenty of chemistry packed into these units.
- Climate Kids
Take a tour through the big questions of climate science, then try out games and activities.
- A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change
If you’re ready to learn about climate, these hands-on, interactive lesson plans are waiting and ready for you.
- ACS Climate Science Toolkit
You won’t find a hammer in this toolkit, but you’ll definitely find everything you need to prepare to discuss global climate change.
- In the Fog About Smog
This ChemMatters article can clear up any lingering brain fog you might have about this climate phenomenon.
- The Ozone Layer: Our Global Sunscreen
Imagine running an experiment as large as the Earth. Now, stop imagining and read about one.
- The Science Behind a Climate Headline
In 4 minutes, atmospheric chemist Rachel Pike provides a glimpse of the massive scientific effort behind the bold headlines on climate change.
- Electricity and the Science of Lightning
A storm is brewing on the horizon... What's the science behind those claps of thunder and flashes of lightning?
Is your room clean? What about your air? Check out the air quality forecast for your area and see how it might affect your health.
- Hope for the Future
Can students make a difference? Yes, they can! Read about how these two shared climate science.
- Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network
Teachers take note! Huge collection of reviewed climate resources for all levels here!
- All the Water in the World
This demo packs a visual punch to show the breakdown of water in the world. More activities take the study of water further.
- Ocean Acidification in a Cup
It’s an ocean mini-model. What will happen to the water when the air above it changes?
- Shell Shifts
If seashells are under the water, how can changes in the air affect them? Learn how!
- Convection Detection
It rises, then falls. And rises, then falls. And… these swirls and currents of color are hypnotizing.
- Dive into Marine Chemistry (in English)
Bucea en la Química Marina (en Español)
Dive into marine chemistry with hands-on activities related to calcium carbonate in seashells, seawater density, and oil spills.
- The Wonders of Water (in English)
Las Maravillas del Agua (en Español)
You’ll be well schooled in “The Wonders of Water” after trying out these activities.
- Ocean Acidification
Go in depth with this lab to study the pH of water and its effect on creatures that make their home in it.
- Ocean Chemistry
Pick and choose—what will it be today? Finding out stories a satellite tells about the ocean? How to better respond to oil spills? Or...
- Global Experiment of the International Year of Chemistry
Need a lab partner? How about 128,330 lab partners? That’s how many students tried water experiments during IYC. You can too!
- Seawater Acid-Base Chemistry
Teachers take note! This marine unit was designed with high school chemistry classes in mind.
- Environmental Resources for Educators
No need to thirst for more water resources. Take a look at this collection—click on the Water tab. Or, explore more!
- Water Diary
Did you take a short or long shower today? Did you wash your clothes? Keep track of how much water you use in a week.
- Stream Team
Put together your dream stream team to monitor the health of local waterways with this guide.
- Great Pacific Garbage Patch
It’s not just trash talk—it’s really out there in the North Pacific. And it’s even bigger than they thought.
- The Flint Water Crisis
What would you do if foul smelling, odd tasting, orange colored water were all that you could get from your tap?
- Water Chemists
What does a water chemist do? Where do they spend their days? How much school do they need? Find out here.
- Salt Harvesting
Seawater can make your food taste better. Learn how the water gets removed and leaves behind gourmet-style salt.
- More on Dehydrated Water
For a little chemistry humor, take a look at this discussion of dehydrated water—available in pill form and in cans. Just add water…
- It's Not Easy Being Green
Disposable or reusable mug? Paper or plastic bag? An item's Life Cycle Analysis can help you decide.
- Our Earth: Handle with Care!
Be a super sorter with a recycling challenge, plus other activities.
- U.S. Recycling Industry
Where does your recycling go? The answer used to be, "China." No more. Learn why and see what the options are.
- What Happens To Your Food Packaging?
Sometimes your food seems to be more package than food. Where do the wrappers go after you take the last bite?
- Sonoma's "I Choose" Banners Upcycled
This high school science class came up with an idea for upcycling items that would go to waste.
- Recycling Aluminum: A Way of Life or a Lifestyle?
For this teenager, recycling is a way of life.
- Compost: Your Trash, Nature's Treasure
Ah, rotting food. Turn your unwanted leftovers into a gold mine for your garden.
- Do the Rot Thing
Learn how the composting goodness happens, then get your own started—with or without worms.
- Waste-Less Lunch
What's left over from your lunch box? Could your waste and leftovers actually go to zero?
- More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution
Why won't it solve the problem? What actually will?
- National Facts and Figures About Recycling
How much heads to the trash per person? What gets recycled? Check out your numbers.
- Recycle That Old Cell Phone
Recycling isn't just about throwing a plastic bottle in the bin. Your unwanted electronics need a place too.
- Environmental Protection Careers
These chemists are helping to protect the environment. Learn what it takes to get there.
- The Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry
It's not easy being green. This summary of the twelve principles of green chemistry at least gives us a start.
- Virtual Lab - Composting
How's your composting know-how? Set up this virtual pile and let it run. Then, adjust a variable and try again.
- Growing Green Death Trend
One state is about to offer a new choice of how you can deal with deceased human remains. Composting will soon be on the list.
- Plastic Bags
How do you take your food home—paper, plastic, or reusable bags? Work with data and see how you measure up.
- The Chemistry of Biodegradable Plastics
PLA. TPS. PHA. These letters can ease your impact on the environment. See how with this infographic.
(all sites accessed January 2020)