Main Menu  CHEM 2000/2002 Spring, 2004

Experiments for the Elementary School Classroom


Dr. Perona

Office: S-215

Office hours: M 2:30-3:30, TR 9:00-11:00  

Required materials

You will need a laboratory notebook( available from the Stockroom),  a copy of each week's experiment (available on this web site), and a pair of  laboratory safety goggles ( available from the Bookstore).  You cannot work in the lab without eye protection.


Schedule of Experiments:

February 17 Introduction and Lab Check-In
 February 24

Analysis of the Colors of Inks
March 2 Polymers
March 9 Baking Powder
March 16 Surface Tension and Soap Bubbles
March 23 Acid Base Indicators
March 30 and April 6 Unknown Substances
April 20 Heat of Combustion of Vegetable Oils
April 27 The Analysis of Foods for Starch and Vitamin C
May4 Project: Development
May 11 Project: Development and Lab Check-Out
May 18 Project Presentations


Lab Notebook

The purpose of a lab notebook is to record four kinds of information that are needed if someone were to try and reproduce what you have done. They are:

1. Purpose Why are you doing the experiment? What questions (general or specific) are you trying to answer?

2. Procedure What methods are you using to answer these questions? Ifs not necessary to copy the experimental procedures in your notebook. You can simply tape your copy in the appropriate place. However, if you change any of the procedures, you should record these changes.

3. Results and Observations What did you observe? List the data you collect. For example, in the first experiment you will prepare several chromatograms. They can be taped into your notebook in the Results section of your write-up together with a complete identification of the sample being studied and the conditions used for each experiment. Often it is very efficient to record your results in a Table.

4. Conclusions This section is where the chenidst puts the answer(s) to the questions that are being studied. What conclusions can be drawn from the results? What results support your conclusions? In many of the experiments there are questions sprinkled about in the write-up. These are often a guide to drawing these conclusions and should be answered. If you are in doubt about any of the entries ask your instructor.

Most of what goes into your notebook will be entered while you are in the lab. But dont be concerned about how beautiful it is. You will probably spill chemicals on some pages, and some will undoubtedly be messy. We are concerned only that the four areas of information be entered accurately and are complete. In addition, there must be a TABLE OF CONTENTS. Writing in pencil is not acceptable. Use ink and cross out for changes you make.


This course is graded with letter grades using the +/- option. You may elect the CR/NC option by notifying Dr. Perona   (in writing) on or before the fourth class meeting.

You must do all of the experiments in order to receive a grade in the course.

Late Eperiments

The Department of Chemistry policy on lab reports will be used.  There will be a 2 point penalty for a report that is late by one day.  If a report is late by two to seven days the penalty is 5 points.  After one week late the penalty will be 10 points.


The books listed below are on Reserve in the Library and may be helpful in selecting a topic for your project.

  1. Experiments with Everyday Objects, by Goldstein-Jackson, Rudnick, Hyman.
  2. Science Magic, by McGill.
  3. 200 Illustrated Science Experiments for Children, by R.J. Brown.
  4. 333 Science Tricks and Experiments, by R.J. Brown.
  5. 333 More Science Tricks and Experiments, by R.J. Brown.
  6. Chemistry for Every Kid, by Van Cleve.
  7. How Scientists Find Out, by Schneider.
  8. Science Projects for Young People, by Barr.
  9. TOPS--Tested Overhead Projection Series, by Alyea.
  10. 47 Easy-To-Do Classic Science Experiments, by Provenzo and Provenzo.


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This page was last modified February 11, 2004