Teaching enquiry with mysteries incorporated

A set of tried and tested curriculum resources which aim to improve students' enquiry skills and increase engagement.  

Resources

Chemical seesaw

A balance is set up with two pieces of iron wool. One piece is set alight: it appears to be getting smaller but, mysteriously, the balance tips the other way.

Curriculum links include chemical reactions, particles, conservation of mass, oxidation.

Chemical garden

The chemical garden is a well‐established experiment from the chemistry of salts, solubility, diffusion, and solutions. The nice thing is that if metal salts are put in sodium water glass solution, it can lead to an effect reminiscent of plants growing. This growing process can be observed and analysed. In the end...

Chameleon bubbles

Chameleon bubbles are formed when a sodium alginate solution is dropped into a calcium chloride solution.  The bubbles are filled by an acid‐base indicator solution; so, adding the beads to acids or bases leads to colour changes inside the bubbles by diffusion and pH change. Students can learn about acids, bases,...

Red or blue flowers?

Students investigate transport in plants by seeing what happens when flowers are placed in different coloured solutions.

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