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Back to school! The best science experiments for schools

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…

school science experiment
School science experiments are what inspired most new scientists to get into the field

1. Flame Tests

flame test chart
Flame tests identify the metals present in transition metal compounds

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

Trinocular microscope
The trinocular microscope model B-193 lets 2 people view the slide at once

How do plant cells from the skin on an onion differ from animal cells, like those from a cheek swab?

With just some microscope slides and a basic microscope you can begin to learn about the building blocks of life.

Choosing a trinocular microscope like the one shown above allows a camera to be attached to the microscope so students can take a record of their findings for coursework or show others using a computer to display an image of the slide to classmates.

3. Acid or Alkaline?

Introduce pH and the concept of acid and alkaline, then test it out for yourself

pH strips
Simple and low cost pH strips are an easy experiment to learn about acids and bases

What’s the pH of lemon juice? Fizzy drinks? Milk? Tap water? Rain water? Window cleaner with ammonia? Vinegar?

Grab a few beakers and some pH strips and you’re ready to find out

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.


See more through the links above, or tell us what your favourite science experiment was at school using the form below to get some Camlab goodies