Lesson Elements

This kit was developed through a grant from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. It is comprised of four lessons that investigate chemical reactions:

  • Production of a gas
  • Color change
  • Formation of a precipitate
  • Temperature change

Across the four lessons, students will take an imaginary trip around the globe to meet scientists, learn about chemical reactions, and get a sense of the wide variety of ways that scientists use chemistry to solve world problems.

Meet the Scientist

Students visit scientists in Iceland, Fiji, Peru, and Antarctica. The scientist describes his or her work to introduce the lesson. Each lesson features one of the four common clues that a chemical reaction may have occurred (production of a gas, color change, formation of a precipitate, and a change in temperature).

Solve a Chemistry Challenge

The teacher does a demonstration to introduce the chemical change being explored. Then students conduct an activity which includes a chemistry challenge. Goals of the challenge include:

  • Sharpening students’ inquiry skills
  • Developing a new understanding of chemical reactions

The student activity sheet provides a clear explanation of the key chemistry concepts highlighted in the hands-on activity.

Get Your Secret Word

At the end of each lesson, students answer a question about the activity and use a chart to find the secret word. At the end of the four lessons, students use these words to fill-in-the-blanks of a quote about science.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the four clues that a chemical change may have occurred.
  • Students will recognize the terms reactant, product, precipitate, exothermic, and endothermic and know how they are used in the context of chemical reactions.
  • Students will conclude that increasing the amount of reactants affects the amount of product.
  • Students will be able to estimate the pH of a variety of acidic and basic solutions based on their color and the range of colors on a pH color chart.
  • Students will be able to explain that in chemical reactions, atoms in the reactants rearrange to form the products.
  • Students will be able to use a thermometer to identify changes of temperature in different chemical reactions.