Newly Added STEAM Activities
Download the Free Energy Tube Lesson Ideas PDF
Description: Safely demonstrate open and closed series circuits without any danger of electric shocks! When the tube is “turned on”, the red, green, and blue lights light up and it makes an eerie fluttering tone. Activating the tube is the fun part – just touch the metal ends with both hands. Your body forms the conducting material that bridges the gap between the two metal strips and closes the circuit! 7″ x 1.5″.
Microscale Vacuum Apparatus
Item #: VAC-10
Download the Free Microscale Vacuum Lesson Ideas PDF
Description: Students can now safely produce a vacuum in a small bell jar right at their lab stations. By reducing the pressure in the microscale bell jar, they can expand a balloon, boil water, and even transfer liquids from one pipet to another. They can watch a marshmallow or shaving cream increase in volume as the pressure is reduced and learn about how extremely low pressure affects the world around them. Instead of passively observing a demonstration, students can actively experiment on their own and observe the results right before their eyes.
More advanced high school and college level students can study Boyle’s and Raoult’s Laws and finally understand the relationship between vapor pressure, temperature, and boiling point. Included with the full instructions and guide is a bonus set of Educational Innovations ideas to challenge you and your students.
Kit includes 8.5 cm (3.5″) bell jar, base plate, vacuum pump syringe, suction cup, balloons, pipets, instructions, and Ron Perkins’ Thirteen Open-Ended Challenges.
Download the Free Plasma Globe Lesson Ideas PDF
Description: A fun and safe way to demonstrate Tesla Coils! Inside the globe, a small Tesla Coil produces an alternating high voltage potential which attracts or repels free electrons. When the electrons collide with the gaseous atoms and molecules inside the globe, the gas particles are ionized creating even more electrons, as well as positive ions. A plasma is formed. When electrons return to the ionized gas, light is produced. Touching the globe with your finger provides a ground, an additional source or “sink” of electrons. You can also observe Super! Wow! Neat!® effects by moving a fluorescent tube or neon light near the plasma globe. They will light up in your hands! Runs on standard North American line current, 110 volts 60 Hz. 8 in. dia. globe.
Chemical Heat Pack
Item #: HEA-400
Description: Click a metal disk and watch the liquid crystallize. Younger students can safely feel the heat of a physical change. Advanced students can determine the heat of fusion of hydrated sodium acetate (fp = 54 oC). Great for calorimetry experiments! Bending the metal disk initiates the crystallization of super-cooled sodium acetate and water; boiling in water returns the solid to a liquid. Can be used over and over. Instructions and lesson ideas provided! 10 x 10 cm (4″ x 4″)
Discussion: The Heat Solution™ commercial hand warmers contain a hydrated solid called sodium acetate trihydrate, NaCH3COO•3H2O. When this plastic package is put into boiling water, the solid inside dissolves in its own water of hydration. As the solution cools down, excess solid sodium acetate remains dissolved, forming a supersaturated solution. Bending the small metal disk inside the package causes enough of a disturbance to initiate the crystallization of the excess solid. Heat is released as the supersaturated solution separates into solute and solvent again.
Objective: To determine the molar heat of crystallization of sodium acetate by using a commercial heat pack, water, a coffee-cup calorimeter, and a temperature probe.
Directions: In lab teams, design an experimental approach to answer the research “question” posed in the objective above. Develop a complete materials list, a detailed procedure, and appropriate data tables. Your instructor will approve these when the following criteria are met: safety, simplicity, and materials availability. Carry out the procedure, analyze the data, evaluate the efficacy of the method, and redesign, if necessary to improve the method.
NOTE: The average mass of the empty plastic bag and the metal disk used in the Heat Solution
pouch has been measured and is 5.42 grams. The literature value for the heat of reaction is -19.7 kJ/mol. Calculate your percent error.
1) You assumed the measured mass of the handwarmer was pure supersaturated sodium acetate. Is this assumption valid? Explain why or why not.
2) Using your answer to Question 1, should your experimental heat of reaction be larger or smaller than the literature value? Justify your answer.
3) A handwarmer had a few crystals of sodium acetate trihydrate present before the handwarmer was agitated, how would this change the calculated heat of reaction? Explain your answer.
4) How would the experimental result change if a student kept their temperature probe in constant contact with the plastic cover of the handwarmer when they were measuring the temperature. Explain your answer.
Item #: HEA-400
Download the Free Putt-Putt Steam Boat Lesson Ideas PDF
Description: Originally called “Putt Putt Steam Boats” in the 1920s, these reproduction toys can be used to teach many scientific principles. Using a small flame from a candle or a few drops of cooking oil, the 10 cm (4″) long boats will chug along for hours. It is great for demonstrating the transformation of heat energy to mechanical energy. More advanced students can be given the problem of explaining how it works. Fascinating to watch in a circular pan of water. Colors may vary.
Item #: GB-315
Download the Free Insta-Snow Lesson Ideas PDF
Description: Add water to this granular white powder and watch it instantly expand to 40 times its original volume. The result is a fluffy artificial snow that feels as cool as it looks! Our snow won’t “melt” but it can be dehydrated and re-used. Great for teaching endothermic and exothermic reactions or as part of a polymer lab. This is a great demonstration of interest to students and educators of ALL ages and abilities. Check out our blog link for an easy-to-follow polymer lab lesson.
LEGO Simple Machines Kit
Download Free Simple Machines Lesson Plans
Download Free Building Instructions for Simple Machines
Description: This kit is suggested for students age 8+, and comes with detailed building instructions for students working in pairs. The lesson ideas available from LEGO Education helps students to explore the scientific principles behind the mechanical advantages that can be gained by using simple machines in their daily lives.
Pittsco Bridge Building Kit – Basswood.
Description: Building model bridges from basswood is a great way to get students engaged in technology, science, and engineering principles. This Getting Started package includes materials for 25 students, testing equipment, and curriculum to get your classroom into bridge building. Access to the free Pitsco Bridge Book for bridge building instructions, a short history of bridges, construction ideas, and more is available for download as a digital copy here. Looking for standards-based activities to accompany these materials? The Model Bridges Teacher’s Guide is available for print here, or you can download a digital copy for free here. The Vernier Materials & Structures Tester can be used to quantify the strength of various bridge designs and identify areas of weakness.
Soda Bottle Rockets
Download the Free Rocket Science Lessons
Description: Building and launching soda bottle rockets can provide students with an outlet for their creative side as they design and decorate their rocket. It can also lead to a better understanding of the forces acting on a projectile, and may help demonstrate applications of Newton’s Laws of Motion. Materials to construct the bottle rockets are readily available, and may be one of the best investments in getting students exciting about science. The launch day activities are also just plain fun! Note: These rockets must be launched outdoors in a large open area and require ready access to gallons of water.
Estes Model Rockets
Download the Model Rocket Safety Code PDF
Download the Free Unit and Lesson Plans
Description: The Rocketry Challenge Starter set is designed to bring you into the adventure of competition rocketry. The first step to succeeding in these competitions is learning how to build, finish and launch a model rocket! The Rocketry Challenge Starter Set comes complete with 12 Estes Alpha rockets, 12 B6-4 engines, 2 LifeTime Launch Systems, and a pile of stickers to make each rocket unique. Note: These rockets must be launched outdoors in a large open area on a non-windy day. They may reach an altitude of 1000 feet!
K’Nex Roller Coasters
Download the Free Building Instructions and Experiments PDF
Description: Explore STEM concepts while building a motorized Roller Coaster! Learn about the relationships between time, distance and speed with this engaging roller coaster building set. Students will have fun while learning about the science, technology, engineering and math concepts associated with a real-life amusement park ride! Build one working roller coaster, plus two additional models. Includes three experiments, one for each model. Set includes more than 545 parts, a battery-powered motor and three experiments.