Kitchen Chemistry

This collection of AACT resources highlights all of the hands-on physical science and chemistry activities that are available in our library, and require only tools and/or materials that are typically found in the kitchen. All of these resources include a list of required materials and detailed background information for teachers, or other adults, who are supervising the activity. There are also student activity sheets, and many include an answer key. There is an equipment list and a table of conversion factors available in the sidebar.

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29 Classroom Resources

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Density, Measurements | Elementary School

    Sinking Soda

    In this teacher led demonstration, students will compare their observations when unopened cans of diet and regular soda are placed in a large container of water. They will use their observations to help differentiate between several fundamental chemistry concepts: mass, volume, and density.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Density, Identifying an Unknown, Measurements | Elementary School, Middle School

    Household Densities

    In this demonstration, students will make predictions about various household materials and whether or not each will sink or float when placed in water. Data will be collected and then used to calculate the density value of each item. Finally students will analyze the relationship between the density value and the observed outcome, and use their knowledge to identify unknown materials.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Pressure, Temperature | Elementary School, Middle School


    In this demonstration, students will learn how temperature change affects air pressure, while observing an egg getting sucked into a bottle without being touched!

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | Elementary School, Middle School

    Giant Toothpaste

    In this demonstration, students will identify factors that indicate a chemical change has occurred while observing the production of giant toothpaste. This reaction uses simpler materials than those that are often used in the typical high school version of the Elephant’s toothpaste demonstration.

  • Resource lesson plan e840e35eab

    Lesson Plan | Chemical Properties, Mixtures, Observations, Physical Properties, Separating Mixtures | Elementary School, Middle School

    Clean-Up Pond Pollution

    In this lesson, students will compare polluted and filtered water to observe how filtering can remove some kinds of pollutants. Students will also be asked to consider how people affect ecosystems and use the scientific method to conduct an experiment on polluted water.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Chemical Change, Matter, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Physical Properties | Elementary School

    Analyzing Root Beer Floats

    In this activity students will observe the states of matter while making a root beer float. They will also discover the differences between a solid, a liquid and a gas.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Chemical Change, Matter, Mixture, Mixtures, Physical Change | Elementary School

    Chemistry in the Kitchen!

    In this activity, students will describe the steps required to complete a recipe of their choosing. They will identify any physical and chemical changes that occur throughout the process.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Dimensional Analysis, Matter, Measurements, Mixture, Physical Change | High School, Middle School

    Cooking with Conversions

    In this activity, students will be given a common homemade recipe for German chocolate cake with measurements in English units. They will be asked to convert the English ingredients list to metric units through scientific calculations. Students will also be asked to identify the ingredients as solid, liquid or gas. While reviewing the cooking procedures, students will classify certain steps as containing compounds or mixtures as well as identify whether chemical or physical changes are taking place. The culinary chemistry involved in this lesson should be introduced throughout the activity.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Observations, Physical Change | Elementary School

    Make a Cake!

    In this demonstration, students will learn about chemical reactions by observing the differences when 4 small cakes are baked. Each recipe will differ slightly in that one important ingredient will be left out in 3 of the 4 mixtures. Students will observe and discuss what happens when things are missing or left out of a mixture and how that effects the chemical reaction.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Chemical Change, Concentration, Solute & Solvent | Elementary School, Middle School

    Soft Eggs

    In this demonstration, students will first observe a reaction between vinegar (acetic acid) and an egg shell (calcium carbonate) to produce a naked egg. Using these eggs, student will analyze how certain substances can move through a membrane and also determine if the membrane is affected.

  • Resource lab acede7281e

    Lab | Chemical Change, Chemical Change | Elementary School

    Teeth Eggsperiment!

    In this lab students will observe and analyze how different drinks can stain an egg’s shell. They will then associate the results with how these drinks can stain their teeth.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Physical Change, Solubility, Solute & Solvent | Elementary School

    Crystallization of Sugar

    In this demonstration, students will observe how to make rock candy in order to understand how sugar crystals form. They will be able to explain what a supersaturated solution is and how it is relevant to sugar crystallization.

  • Resource lesson plan e840e35eab

    Lesson Plan | Mixture, Mixtures, Observations, Physical Properties, Solute & Solvent | Middle School

    How Fast Does it Flow?

    In this lesson students explore the viscosity of different mixtures. They measure viscosity of different mixtures and then have the opportunity to design a mixture to attain a particular viscosity. Students will relate their lab experience to the application of viscosity in the real-world as they consider the differences in viscosity between different types of paints.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Mixtures, Observations, Physical Properties, Polarity | Elementary School

    Colorful Milk

    In this demonstration, students will observe as the teacher creates several colorful mixtures. Using food coloring, water and milk, students will watch the colors swirl and mix. Students will have the opportunity to make a prediction about what will happen to the colors when a sample of soap is introduced to the mixture.

  • Resource lab acede7281e

    Lab | Phase Changes, Physical Change | Middle School

    I Can’t Believe It’s Butter!

    In this lab students will learn about the phases of matter and phase changes while making a small sample of butter.

  • Resource lab acede7281e

    Lab | Density, Mixtures, Solubility | Middle School

    Investigating Density within Lava Lamps

    In this lab students will make a simple yet spectacular lava lamp while focusing on the density of the components.

  • Resource lab acede7281e

    Lab | Heat, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Temperature, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Mega Marshmallows

    In this lab, students will investigate the Kinetic Molecular Theory and particle motion while experimenting with a marshmallow. Students will observe how an increase in kinetic energy will cause particles to increase in motion. This concept will be extended into a discussion about additional real world thermal expansion examples.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Chemical Change, Reaction Rate, Reaction Rate | High School, Middle School

    Comparing Rates of Reaction

    In this demonstration, students observe the effect of temperature, concentration, and particle size on the rate of a chemical reaction.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Atomic Mass, Isotopes, Subatomic Particles | High School, Middle School

    Candy Isotopes & Atomic Mass

    In this activity, students will learn about isotopes and be introduced to basic average atomic mass calculations. They will use simple numbers and M&M candies to model ratios that approximate real world atomic mass values on the periodic table.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Establishing Equilibrium | High School

    Equilibrium Introduction

    In this activity, students perform a hands-on activity that models chemical equilibrium based on the article Equilibrium: A Teaching/Learning Activity by Audrey H. Wilson from the Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, No. 9, September 1998.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Kinetic Molecular Theory | High School

    Diffusion of Particles

    In this demonstration students will experience diffusion, and then model the process of diffusion of microwave popcorn “flavor particles” in a room filled with still air.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Gas Laws, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Pressure, Volume | High School

    Inflate and Shrink Wrap a Student

    In this demonstration, students will observe two situations. First a student will be lifted off the desk as other students blow air into straws connected to a garbage bag in order to inflate it. Secondly, the class will observe a garbage bag shrink wrapping a student as a vacuum removes air from the bag.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Dimensional Analysis, Molar Mass, Mole Concept, Molecular Formula | High School

    Calculating Moles in Daily Life

    In this activity, students will use dimensional analysis to complete calculations and conversions for the number of moles, atoms, and molecules in several everyday household items using collected data.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Balancing Equations, Limiting Reactant, Stoichiometry | High School

    Farfalle Stoichiometry

    In this activity, students will use a hands-on manipulative (pasta) to represent the stoichiometric relationships in a compound and in a balanced equation. They will determine the limiting reactant for a given amount of two reactants and they will identify the excess reactant. In the extension exercise, students will balance the equations that are used in the production of ammonia, a common chemical fertilizer.

  • Resource activity 1fd2911482

    Activity | Concentration, Molarity | High School

    Particle Level Molarity

    In this activity, students are introduced to molarity at the particle level. Students will activate their prior knowledge by demonstrating their understanding of concentration by preparing several Kool-Aid drinks, and then applying that information at the particle level to various models.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Density, Observations, Physical Properties | Elementary School

    Will it Float?

    In this demonstration, students will observe the relationship between the density of a solution and its impact on an object’s ability to float or sink. Uncooked eggs will be placed in a tap water sample and in a salt water solution so that students can make observations and compare the results in order to make a determination regarding the density value for each item.

  • Resource demonstration 4628b202f8

    Demonstration | Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Combustion, Density, Density, Observations | Elementary School, Middle School

    Investigating Gas Density

    In this demonstration, students will observe a reaction between baking soda and vinegar in the presence of a burning candle. The initial environment has plenty of oxygen present in order to sustain the candle’s flame; however the reaction will produce carbon dioxide which will cause the lit candle to extinguish. Students will analyze the outcome and compare the presence of the gases in the container and make determinations about the densities of each.

  • Resource lesson plan e840e35eab


    Embracing My Teaching Style

    The author shares about her recent career transition to becoming a chemistry teacher, and reflects on the challenges and successes she experienced during her first year in the classroom.

  • Resource lesson plan e840e35eab


    Preparing Solutions

    In this simulation, students will complete a calculation in order to determine either the molarity of solution, volume of solution, or mass of solute needed. Additionally the associated particle diagram for the solution will be displayed to help students better visualize the solution at the particulate level. Finally, students will gain familiarity with the proper lab techniques for preparing a solution as they are lead through a step-by-step animated process demonstrating this procedure.

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