September means the start of another school year. It’s during their time at school that most scientists first found their interest in the field, and practical experiments are often the best way to bring science to life for students of all ages.
So find your seats, eyes front and has everyone got a lab partner?
Lets run through our favourite school science experiments…
1. Flame Tests
With a bunsen burner students can identify the metal ions in different metal salts by the colours they emit when placed in a flame.
This is a great introduction to analytical work – practicing a technique with known samples before moving on to unknowns to find out what they’re made of.
2. Cell types and structures
How do plant cells from the skin on an onion differ from animal cells, like those from a cheek swab?
Choosing a trinocular microscope like the one shown above allows 2 people to view the slide at once, ideal for teachers or supervisors helping to adjust the focus or check the sample. Or add a camera to the microscope and broadcast the view from one microscope to the whole class.
3. Acid or Alkaline?
Introduce pH and the concept of acid and alkaline, then test it out for yourself
What’s the pH of lemon juice? Fizzy drinks? Milk? Tap water? Rain water? Window cleaner with ammonia? Vinegar?
4. Refraction of light
With just 2 Pyrex beakers and vegetable oil the amazing “dissapearing beaker” experiment is a great way to demonstrate refraction in action.
Make sure the beakers are Pyrex so the refraction is just right.