Power up with this collection of links to learn more about energy, its chemistry, and its relation to your life. See how a chocolate bar can tell you about the energy of microwaves. Light up a bulb using materials from grocery and pet stores. Eat a delivery pizza, then build an oven with what’s left.
Experiments & Activities
- Aluminum–Air Battery (Exploratorium)
Want to light up a Christmas tree bulb? You won't need an outlet. Make this homemade battery instead.
- Microwaving a Chocolate Bar (University of Waterloo)
Get a ruler and some chocolate to consider the energy of your microwave and the speed of light.
- Celebrating Chemistry: Energy—It's Everywhere! (pdf)
Build your own flashlight, make "water wire," and learn more about energy.
- Celebrating Chemistry: Energy—Now and Forever (pdf)
Power a pinwheel with the sun, learn about turning sand into “$and,” and more.
- Energy Foundations for High School Chemistry
What's energy? How do we use it? How can it change? Investigate these big ideas about energy.
- Soda Can Calorimeter (Flinn)
An empty soda can doesn't have to be the end. Use it to measure the energy content of your snack food.
- NOVA Energy Lab (PBS)
Analyze data, then design a renewable energy system for your city of the future.
- Heat—Energy Extraordinaire! (pdf)
See what speedy molecules can do in this bubbly activity.
- Solar Oven S'mores (Steve Spangler)
Cook up some s'mores—no fire required, just an empty pizza box.
- Dietary Calories (ChemEdX)
Get students to think about the energy they ingest. Where in the ingredients label do the calories come from?
- Energy Balance (pdf)
Analyze what you eat and do with this three-day energy tracker.
- Annual Radiation Dose Calculator (NRF)
Radiation—what's your number? Calculate your annual dose, from things you can avoid to things you can't.
- Cow Power
Don't waste that stinky waste! Use it to fuel up instead!
- Can Nuclear Power Save the Planet?
The question is open for discussion. What do you think is in store for the future?
- How a No-Touch Thermometer Detects a Fever (NPR)
These thermometers are getting a lot of use checking for fevers these days. How do they work?
- Understanding Heat Flow from a Coffee Cup (University of Waterloo)
This high school student is a published chemistry author. What did he find out?
- Thermal Cameras in the Classroom (ChemEdX)
This tool helps make invisible chemistry visible. See how this teacher uses it.
- Metabolic Marvels of Bear Hibernation - Part 2 (ChemEdX)
Connect chemistry to bears' pre-winter chow down as they prepare for their long sleep.
- How Hot Is It? (Teacher Engineering)
A thermometer appears so simple. What's the science inside and out?
- Powered by Poop and Pee? (Science News for Students)
The fuel for this bio-bus has its origins in your toilet.
- Turning Coffee Waste into Cleaner Biofuels (Science Daily)
Your daily cup of joe could not only power you, but your car.
- Carbon Nanotubes and Solar Efficiency (Popular Mechanics)
Nanotubes may be able to give solar panels a huge boost. How?
- NEED Energy Infobooks (National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project)
Coal, geothermal, natural gas, solar... This site is a who's who of the major energy players and their science, for all grade levels.
- How Does a Galileo Thermometer Work? (How Stuff Works)
You might think it's just a colorful decoration or a science toy. The construction is trickier than you think.
- EIA Energy Kids (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
What is energy? What sources have we been able to use over time? This website can get you started.
- My Favorite Small Research Project This Year (ChemEdX)
Students combined a kiddie pool and a Styrofoam cooler to learn how your body burns energy.
(all sites accessed May 2020)