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Project Ideas
Looking for more ways to react to chemistry?Here are eight ideas that you can turn into individual or classroom projects.
Check outChemistry Teachers A-Z Resource Guidewhich includes similar activities.
  1. Gas Up!
    When you mix vinegar with baking soda, a gas is formed. You can see it bubble up out of your mixing container. Devise a way to use this gas to power a speedboat built out of straw or a small cardboard tube.
  2. Fizzz...
    The bubbles in soda pop that tickle your nose and tingle your throat are carbon dioxide. Investigate which cans lose their fizz fastest: a cold, just-opened can; a warm can; or one that has been shaken (and opened with care!). Then determine why the cans lose fizz at different rates.
  3. Flower Power.
    Talk about sensitive: The color of a hydrangea's flowers changes depending on the pH of the soil they're grown in. Grow four hydrangeas one in acid soil, one in neutral soil, one in base soil, and one in a sample from your backyard and report on what you learned.
  4. Keep It Clean.
    What would you do if you didn't have soap or detergent? How could you keep your favorite shirt clean? Take a white cotton rag, and create two grease spots on it by rubbing on either butter or margarine. Try using lemon juice to clean one of the spots and whole milk to clean the other. Which substance cleans better? Now try to use lemon juice and whole milk to clean other stains, such as cranberry juice, chocolate, and ink.
  5. A Rusty Apple.
    Squeeze juice from half a lemon, cut an apple in half, and then brush or wipe the lemon juice on one half only. Leave both halves out on a counter or table for an hour. Which half shows the characteristics of rust? Research what kept the other half from "rusting."
  6. Swell Science.
    If you've ever made popcorn, you know that heat causes the kernels to expand greatly. In fact, popped kernels take up about twelve times as much space as unpopped kernels. Investigate and report on the chemical process that makes popcorn swell when heated.
  7. Chemistry Cookout.
    Spreading mustard on a hot dog may change the way it looks and tastes, but it doesn't change the substance of the hot dog. However, there is a physical change when you add sugar to lemonade and a chemical change when you grill a hamburger on a charcoal grill. Research and explain both types of substance changes.
  8. Why Cry?
    Onions are known for their ability to bring tears to almost anyone's eyes ... when you cut them. Yet, before you take a knife to them, it's easy to keep a dry eye. Why? Research the chemical reaction and new substance that's triggered when you cut through an onion's walls.