Fire: Flames and Chemical Change

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These downloadable videos and animations are part of the multimedia package Stuff and Substance, developed by the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP). They can be used to develop ideas relating to flames, from hydrogen to candle wax.

A flame is a chemical reaction between two substances in a gaseous mixture. Normally, one of the substances is oxygen, and water and carbon dioxide are the products. Students find the idea of water coming out of a flame particularly difficult. These resources can be used to build students’ understanding of flames in order of increasing complexity from hydrogen through to a candle flame (using a glass wick to counter the very popular notion that it is the wick that is burning). The videos investigate the range of flames, and the animations help to explain what is happening in terms of substances at the level of molecules and atoms. Questions and diagrams to accompany these resources are given in the Stuff and Substance package.

These video and animation files form part of the resources in the section Fire in the Stuff and Substance multimedia package, which provides a series of interactive pages that can be used by teachers or students in the classroom.

Please note: From 2021, Adobe has discontinued support for Flash player and as a result some interactive files may no longer be playable. As an alternative method to accessing these files a group of volunteers passionate about the preservation of internet history have created project Ruffle ( Ruffle is an entirely open source project that you can download and run many interactive Flash resources. For further information regarding STEM Learning’s policy for website content, please visit our terms and conditions page.

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