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General Chemistry Lab Experiments

Learn chemistry the hands-on way, with these general chemistry laboratory experiments, demonstrations, projects, and exercises.
  1. Chemistry Supplies
  2. Lab Techniques

Chemistry Laboratory Safety Rules
Make your chemistry laboratory experience safe by following these simple rules.

How to Write a Lab Report
Lab reports are an essential part of all laboratory courses and usually a significant part of your grade. If your instructor gives you an outline for how to write a lab report, use that. Here's a format for a lab report you can use if you aren't sure what to write or need an explanation of what to include in the different parts of the report.

Science Lab Report Template
If you are preparing a lab report, it may help to have a template to work from. This science lab report template allows you to fill in the blanks, making the lab write-up easier.

Chem Pre-Lab: How to Prepare for Chemistry Lab
Chemistry lab is a required component of most chemistry courses. Learning about lab procedures and performing experiments helps you to learn...

Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Gallery
Learn the names and uses of different types of chemistry laboratory glassware.

How to Clean Laboratory Glassware
Cleaning laboratory glassware isn't as simple as washing the dishes. Here's how to wash your glassware so that you won't ruin your chemical solution, laboratory experiment, or the glass.

How to Read a Meniscus
The meniscus is the curve seen at the top of a liquid in response to its container. When you read a scale on the side of a container with a meniscus, such as a graduated cylinder or volumetric flask, it's important that the measurement accounts for the meniscus. Here's how to read a meniscus.

Aspirin Synthesis - Acetylsalicylic Acid
Learn how to synthesize aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, from salicyclic acid. Get information about the history of aspirin, the effects of salicylates, and see the structures of the reactants.

Baggie Chemistry - Experiment with Chemical Reactions
Introduce students to chemical reactions and experimentation using common materials and baggies.

Bend Water with Static Electricity
Use static electricity to bend a stream of flowing water. This is an easy science activity that illustrates how opposite electrical charges attract each other.

Blue Bottle Color Change Demonstration
Learn how to perform the blue bottle chemistry demonstration, in which a blue liquid becomes clear, then returns to blue when swirled around. Instructions are also given for red -> clear -> red and green -> red -> green reactions.

Bouncing Polymer Ball
Use chemistry to make a bouncing polymer ball, then alter the procedure to see the effect the changes have on the charactertistics of the bouncing ball.

Bubble Life & Temperature
This science fair project examines whether bubbles last the same length of time in hot temperatures as they do in cool temperatures.

Chemistry Scavenger Hunt
A chemistry scavenger hunt is an educational game where you find items that match a description. It's a great way to learn key concepts. Here's a list of chemistry scavenger hunt clues and items that match.

Chromatography with Candy and Coffee Filters
Analyze the dyes used in your favorite candies with paper chromatography using a coffee filter, colored candies, and a salt solution.

Cloud in a Bottle Demonstration
Here's a quick and easy science project you can do: make a cloud inside a bottle. This simple project uses water vapor and smoke from a match to help form a cloud.

Dancing Gummi Bear Demonstration
Place a Gummi Bear candy into a test tube containing molten potassium chlorate and watch it dance amidst purple flames. This stunning demonstration is an example of a strongly product-favored reaction, plus it's a lot of fun.

Disappearing Ink Instructions
Learn how to make blue or red ink that will disappear after exposure to air. Tips for restoring the color and an explanation of the acid-base chemistry of the reaction are also included.

Dissolve Styrofoam in Acetone
Dissolving Styrofoam or another polystyrene product in acetone is a spectacular demonstration of the solubility of this plastic in an organic solvent, plus it illustrates just how much air is in the Styrofoam.

Do You Add Sulfuric Acid to Water or Water to Sulfuric Acid?
It's important to add sulfuric acid to water and not water to concentrated sulfuric acid. Here's an explanation of why you don't want to make a mistake and some mnemonics that might help you remember how to play it safe in the chemistry lab.

Endothermic Reaction Demonstration
Here's an endothermic reaction demonstration that is easy to do and cold enough to freeze water.

Experimental Determination of Avogadro's Number
Did you know that Avogadro's number isn't a mathematically derived unit. The number of particles in a mole of a material is determined experimentally. This easy method uses electrochemistry to make the determination.

Fruit Battery
If you have fruit, a couple of nails, and wire then you can generate electricity to turn on a light bulb. Learn how to make a fruit battery. It's fun, safe, and easy.

Fruit Ripening and Ethylene Experiment
Measure the ripening of fruit from exposure to the plant hormone ethylene by testing starch levels with an iodine solution. This easy experiment can be performed on several types of fruit, such as apples, pears, and bananas.

Gold and Silver Pennies
Take copper pennies and turn then silver, then make them gold. This is an easy chemistry project that uses common laboratory chemicals.

Hot Ice or Sodium Acetate
Sodium acetate or hot ice is an amazing chemical you can prepare yourself from baking soda and vinegar. You can cool a solution of sodium acetate below its melting point and then cause the liquid to crystallize. The crystallization is an exothermic process, so the resulting ice is hot. Solidification occurs so quickly you can form sculptures as you pour the hot ice.

How to Perform a Recrystallization
Recrystallization is a laboratory technique used to purify a sample based on the different solubilites of its components. Learn how to perform a recrystallization and get tips on how to avoid common problems and improve your product yield.

Human Battery Demonstration
Make a human battery by substituting fingers for the salt bridge in a galvanic cell. You can make a human battery with one person, a group of people, or even a thousand people. This is a simple yet impressive electrochemistry demonstration.

Luminol Chemiluminescence Test for Blood
You can use the luminol chemiluminescence reaction as a quick and easy forensic test for blood. Here's a look at what you need to perform the test, how to do it, and an explanation of how the luminol test works.

Mixture and a Compound from Iron and Sulfur
Do you know the difference between a mixture and a compound? Combine iron and sulfur to make a mixture and then react them to form a chemical compound.

Perform the Mohs Test
The Mohs test is one way to determine the hardness of a rock or mineral. You can use the Mohs hardness to help identify an unknown specimen. Here's how you can do the test yourself.

Poinsettia pH Paper
You can make pH indicator from poinsettia flowers, then use the indicator to make your own pH paper test strips.

Rainbow in a Glass Density Demonstration
Make a rainbow in a glass using colored sugar solutions with different densities. This project is very easy and safe enough to drink.

Sodium in Water Chemistry Demonstration
The sodium in water chemistry demonstration is a spectacular demo that illustrates the reactivity of an alkali metal with water and may be used as an example of an exothermic reaction. This is an interesting and memorable demonstration, which can be performed safely.

Sulfur Hexafluoride Demonstrations
Sulfur hexafluoride is a non-toxic, invisible gas that you can use to perform interesting chemistry demonstrations. Breathe it in and make your voice much deeper when you talk. Pour it into a container and float an airplane or a ship on 'nothing'.

Titration Basics - Acids Bases and Buffers
Grasp the basic chemical concepts of titration, a technique used to determine the molarity of an acid or a base.

Vitamin C Determination by Iodine Titration
Use this redox-based iodometric titration to determine the amount of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid in juice and other samples.

Water into Wine Demonstration
Turn a clear liquid into a red liquid, then back to clear again. This demonstration is commonly called turning water into wine or blood, and can be used to demonstrate acid-base indicators.

Saturated Solution
It's easy to make a saturated solution for chemistry lab or growing crystals. Here's a look at what a saturated solution is and how to prepare one.

Chemistry Lab Safety Contract
This is a chemistry lab safety contract that you can print or assign for students and parents to read.

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