Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry
Free hands-on chemistry activities for chemists and science educators
Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry is a set of free hands-on activities and tips for chemists and science educators to use when they share science with school-aged children. Videos and instructions show prospective presenters what to do and say to empower children in guided exploration.
- How to Facilitate an Activity
This spoof on motivational speakers and their adoring fans identifies strategies activity facilitators can use when sharing chemistry with children.
- Gum and Chocolate
Something strange happens when you chew gum and chocolate at the same time.
- Atoms to Atoms
Play a card game that invites conversation about chemistry. Attitudes and experiences are revealed.
- What's in the Water
Conduct three chemical tests on two samples that, at first, appear to be water.
- Molecules in Motion
Find out what happens to squish toys when you remove the air around them.
- Build a Battery
Stack zinc, copper, and wet felt washers to power a small light.
- Nature of Dye
Make bright shades of red, orange, and purple using crushed insects and acid-base chemistry.
- Chemistry is Colorful
Add drops of water and watch as spreading splotches of ink reveal their true colors.
- Sublimation Bubbles
Capture cold carbon dioxide and a swirling cloud of water under a growing bubble dome.
- Rocket Reactions
Launch a plastic cap into the air with a classic chemical reaction.
- Chemistry Makes Scents
Follow your nose to investigate a pair of mirror-image molecules.
- Cleaning Oil Spills with Chemistry
Use three different strategies to clean up a tiny oil spill.
Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry is the result of a collaborative project between the National Informal STEM Education Network and the American Chemical Society with funding from the National Science Foundation. The title of the project, ChemAttitudes, reflects the goal to stimulate interest, sense of relevance, and feelings of self-efficacy about chemistry among public audiences.
Using the iterative process of design-based research, hands-on activities and facilitation strategies were tested with different audiences and optimized by a team of experienced informal science educators and researchers. The research method and findings are presented in Let’s Do Chemistry: A Framework and Strategies to Encourage Positive Attitudes toward Learning Chemistry in Museums and Informal Settings.
The Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry resources were packed in large boxes and shipped in September 2018 to 250 organizations, including science centers, ACS Local Sections and ACS Student Chapters for chemistry events and National Chemistry Week celebrations. These are reusable, and may be available for use from one of your local organizations. However, all of the instructions, guides, signs, and videos will remain free for all to use at http://www.nisenet.org/chemistry-kit.