Classic chemistry experiments

Chemistry experiments have a vital role to play in teaching and learning. They enhance learning either by their visual nature and so are memorable, or by their tying together of theory.

They add to the fun of chemistry by their visual appeal and hands-on nature. They allow students to apply their knowledge and understanding to what they experience, developing basic skills such as selecting and using equipment.

The experiments often illustrate a concept or process, so students gain first-hand experience before further discussion or analysis. They can be a starting point for investigations.

Chemistry experiments extend the scope of the curriculum and can be done in chemistry or science clubs. The ideas for the experiments in this book have come from a variety of sources. Some may be original, but most have been collected from school chemistry departments and from the literature. Many of the ideas have come from more than one source.

All the experiments have been compiled by Kevin Hutchings, The Royal Society of Chemistry Teacher Fellow 1997-98, and have been tested at the University of Sussex Institute of Education. They have subsequently been trialled in schools where they have worked in a classroom setting. The outcome is a concise set of guidelines for teachers and instructions and questions for students.

Chemistry is an experimental subject, and what can be more stimulating than carrying out a laboratory experiment where the results are memorable either by their visual nature or by their tying together of theory.

This collection of 100 chemistry experiments has been developed with the help and support of teachers throughout the UK. Each student worksheet is accompanied by a teachers' notes sheet which gives details for teachers and technicians on apparatus and chemicals, timing, context, teaching tips, background theory and answers to any questions on the student worksheets.

The student worksheets are also available on the web, and can be downloaded or adapted as necessary by teachers. 'Classic chemistry experiments' is designed as a teaching aid to help communicate the excitement and wonder of chemistry to students, and is ideal for both experienced chemistry teachers and to scientists from other disciplines who are teaching chemistry. 

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Author(s)Kevin Hutchings
Published by

Shelf referenceA 540.78 HUT
Direct URL

This is a physical resource. Come and visit the National STEM Learning Centre library to see it.

Find out more about the Centre