Teaching Science

Chemistry Resources

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General Chemistry

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Updated March 26, 2015

Chemistry: A Volatile History

Chemistry: A Volatile History is a 2010 BBC documentary on the history of chemistry presented by Jim Al-Khalili. It was nominated for the 2010 British Academy Television Awards in the category Specialist Factual.
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Updated March 26, 2015

Chemistry History Quizzes

Matching quizzes for each of the episodes of Chemistry: A Volatile History. Answers are provided.

In Our Time: Alchemy

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Updated February 23, 2014
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of Alchemy, the ancient science of transformations. The most famous alchemical text is the Emerald Tablet, written around 500BC and attributed to the mythical Egyptian figure of Hermes Trismegistus. Among its twelve lines are the essential words - “as above, so below". They capture the essence of alchemy, that the heavens mirror the earth and that all things correspond to one another. Alchemy was taken up by some of the most extraordinary people in our intellectual development, including Roger Bacon, Paracelsus, the father of chemistry, Robert Boyle, and, most famously, Isaac Newton, who wrote more about alchemy than he did about physics. It is now contended that it was Newton’s studies into alchemy which gave him the fundamental insight into the famous three laws of motion and gravity.

In Our Time: Robert Boyle

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Updated July 11, 2014
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of Robert Boyle, a pioneering scientist and a founder member of the Royal Society. Born in Ireland in 1627, Boyle was one of the first natural philosophers to conduct rigorous experiments, laid the foundations of modern chemistry and derived Boyle's Law, describing the physical properties of gases. In addition to his experimental work he left a substantial body of writings about philosophy and religion; his piety was one of the most important factors in his intellectual activities, prompting a celebrated dispute with his contemporary Thomas Hobbes.

Properties of Matter

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Updated July 11, 2014

In Our Time: States of Matter

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the science of matter and the states in which it can exist. Most people are familiar with the idea that a substance like water can exist in solid, liquid and gaseous forms. But as much as 99% of the matter in the universe is now believed to exist in a fourth state, plasma. Today scientists recognise a number of other exotic states or phases, such as glasses, gels and liquid crystals - many of them with useful properties that can be exploited.
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Added May 16, 2017

States of Matter Game

A simple card game designed to reinforce states of matter and phase transitions. Cards represent either states of matter or phase transitions.

Players race to be the first to empty their hand, laying down state and transition cards in the correct sequence.

This print-and-play game is formatted to be printed on prepunched business card stock, making it fast to print a class set of games.

Elements and the Periodic Table

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Updated July 13, 2014

BBC Elements

A nice series of half-hour podcasts looking (eventually) at all the elements.

Justin Rowlatt looks at the world economy from the perspective of the elements of the periodic table.
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Elemental Sudoku

I got these from the Royal Society of Chemistry. If you have students who can't put away their sudoku puzzles, try them on these! Answers are included.
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Updated April 23, 2015

Elements Matching Game

Cards for a game involving matching elements and symbols. Sized to use standard business card stock.

The cards can also be printed as flashcards, with the symbol on the front and the element on the back.

In Our Time: Chemical Elements

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Updated February 23, 2014
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the chemical elements. The aim and challenge in chemistry, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, is the understanding of the complex materials which constitute everything in existence since the Big Bang, when the whole universe emerged out of the two elements of hydrogen and helium.

Today we have the key to understanding these elements, the Periodic Table, which is a pattern embedded in nature and was miraculously discovered in a dream.

In Our Time: Oxygen

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Updated February 23, 2014
Melvyn Bragg discusses the discovery of Oxygen by Joseph Priestley and Antoine Lavoisier.

For the British dissenting preacher, Joseph Priestley, and the French aristocrat, Antoine Lavoisier, Chemistry was full of possibilities and they pursued them for scientific and political ends. But they came to blows over oxygen because they both claimed to have discovered it, provoking a scientific controversy that rattled through the laboratories of France and England until well after their deaths. To understand their disagreement is to understand something about the nature of scientific discovery itself.

Chemical Compounds

ION: A Compound Building Game

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Updated April 2, 2017
ION: A Compound Building Game is a simple card drafting game where players select from a number of available ion cards and noble gas cards, with the objective of forming either neutrally charged compounds or sets of stable noble gases.

How to Play
Each player is initially dealt eight cards. They choose one card and pass the remaining to the player on their left, while they receive the same amount of cards from the player on their right (this is commonly referred to as “card drafting” or “pick and pass”).

Selected cards must be either (1) bonded to another ion or (2) set alone. Players only score points for neutrally balanced cards. So a positive charged Sodium (Na+) bonding with a negatively charge Chloride (Cl-), forming a neutral NaCl compound. would score points.

Points are scored at the end of each round and player may gain additional points for building specific compounds listed on the goal cards for that round. After three rounds the player with the most points wins!

The game comes with multiple expansions including a Transition Metals expansion, a Polyatomic Ion expansion, and a Radioactive Card expansion.

This game take a different approach to my own Ionicompounds game.

IoniCompounds Game

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Updated June 11, 2016
IoniCompounds is a fun way for students to practice forming ionic compounds. The unique ion cards make it easy to visually balance ionic compounds, while the special cards keep play exciting until the last turn.

This file contains rulebook, cards, and a folding storage box — everything needed to play IoniCompounds. The rulebook should be printed double-sided, folded, and stapled to make a small booklet. The cards can be printed on pre-punched business card stock, or printed on card stock and cut out. Alternate card backs make multiple classroom sets easy to sort out if your students get them mixed up.

Rare Earth: Chemical Element Card Game

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Updated May 11, 2017
From cute little Hydrogen to heroic Meitnerium to mysterious Ununoctium, chemical element cartoon characters are bonding together, mixing-it-up and raiding each other’s Labs to capture Protons in this exciting card game.

With the
Rare Earth Chemical Element Card Game, every child has fun learning the fundamentals of Chemistry, Great for Science classrooms and entertaining for kids and families, players win by combining chemical element cards.

This game is built around forming binary ionic compounds. Bonding a new compound gets you an energy card, which lets you mix an alloy. Forming a compound or allow also lets you steal a compound or allow from one of your opponents.

An expansion pack is available that adds cards to make a complete periodic table.

The rules include several variants, making it suitable for different grades. For the basic game you don't need to know any chemistry — it’s built into the rules. I would start with the simplest version (intended for children) and add complexity if the class likes the game.

Rare Earth is designed for 2-6 players, so the average classroom would need 5-6 sets. Fortunately, there’s a classroom price: six sets plus an expansion pack for the price of five, with free shipping.

LeapCloud is a Canadian company, which makes shipping a lot more reasonable than it is for many products (and free if you order two products at once).