ACS ChemClub banner


quill with ink


Looking for a solution to money worries? What if you were able to turn lead into gold? A main goal of many alchemists of the past was to do just that, tirelessly trying different methods, while keeping secretive records of their work. This collection of links explores the history of alchemy, the connection of alchemy to modern day chemistry, and some fun activities to experience a taste of the alchemist’s life.

  • Journeys from Alchemy to Chemistry: Educational Workshops
    Go hands-on with these experiments, while learning about the start alchemists gave to chemistry.
  • Flame Out
    This demonstration is common now, but consider how it looked to alchemists—an invisible substance mysteriously extinguishing a candle flame.
  • Dry Ice Crystal Ball Bubble
    Looking to get in the alchemy mood? Get the mystical atmosphere going with this “crystal ball.”
  • Silver Tree
    Attention alchemists! You can turn copper into silver with ease with this demo! (Or can you?)
  • Alchemy: A Cross-Curricular Activity
    You’ll have plenty of “silver” and “gold” coins for a spending spree at the end of this lab. But how much are they really worth?

Youtube ID: U9muF-Ebcqw

  • An Old Favorite: Brass Pennies
    Here's another option for getting some of that "gold" for yourself.
  • Making a Quill Pen
    Need to take some notes about what you’re learning about the history of alchemy? Take your writing back in time with a homemade quill pen.
  • Disappearing Ink
    Alchemists would have loved these ink recipes to keep their notes even more secret. Make your own!
  • Aging Paper To Look Like Old Parchment
    How would long-ago writings of alchemists look today? Recreate the effect of paper that appears even older than you!
  • Newton's Dark Secrets
    “The Lion has overcome the wolf.” “The King will be liberated.” Can you unravel the secrets of the philosopher’s stone?

Youtube ID: MeUDny-5nPo