SCIENCE DEMONSTRATIONS, EXPERIMENTS,
A reference list for elementary through college teachers
emphasizing chemistry with some physics and life science
Originally published in the Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 68, Page 235, march 1991
Updated and compiled by
David A. Katz
Chemist, Educator, Science Communicator, and Consultant
1621 Briar Hill Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035-1204, USA
Voice/Fax/Message: 610-642-5231 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's note: This is a work in progress. Updating will be continuing on this reference list through the future on
an irregular schedule. Since the original publication of this article, many of these books have gone out of print and
a number of publishers have gone out of business or have been bought out by other publishing houses. The
publishers and list of publishers has not been updated from the 1991 article.
Journals will usually require membership in a professional organization. Many libraries, especially college libraries
in schools which offer degrees in education, will often have these journals available. Addresses of professional
organizations and journal and book publishers are listed at the end of this compilation.
Science and Children, National Science Teachers Association.
Designed for elementary and middle school science teaching. Contains activities, projects, program reports,
reviews, hints, sky charts, background articles, and more.
Science Scope, National Science Teachers Association.
Designed for middle/junior high school science teachers. Particularly strong in activity-oriented articles
along with information articles and news items.
The Science Teacher, National Science Teachers Association.
Designed for junior and senior high school science teachers. Contains demonstrations, experiments, sources
of free or inexpensive teaching materials, reviews, posters, and other teaching ideas.
The Journal of College Science Teaching, National Science Teachers Association.
Designed for college science teachers. Main focus is on educational issues, and innovative techniques with
some experiments and demonstrations.
The Journal of Chemical Education, Division of Chemical Education, American Chemical Society.
Designed for high school and college chemistry teachers. Covers all areas of chemistry through principles,
innovative techniques, experiments, and demonstrations. Of particular note is the "Tested Demonstration"
Column. (Indices are available in booklet form or on diskette.)
ChemMatters, Office of High School Chemistry, American Chemical Society.
Designed for high school students. Contains activities and articles focusing on chemistry of everyday things.
All back issues are available on CD-ROM from the American Chemical Society Office of Education.
Chemunity, Office of High School Chemistry, American Chemical Society.
Designed for high school teachers. Contains articles of interest along with news of workshops and special
programs for teachers.
WonderScience, Office of Pre-High School Chemistry, American Chemical Society.
This excellent magazine is no longer in print. It was aimed at elementary and middle school students.
Activities youngsters can do at home with the assistance of an adult. Utilizes household materials. Well
illustrated. Back copies are compiled in two books titled The Best of WonderScience, available from The
American Chemical Society Office of Education.
The Physics Teacher, American Association of Physics Teachers.
Designed for high school and college physics teachers. Articles on principles, innovative techniques,
experiments, and demonstrations.
Chem 13 News, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo.
For high school chemistry teachers. General articles, experiments, demonstrations, humor, and reviews of
books and apparatus.
Scientific American, Scientific American, Inc.
The Amateur Scientist column by C. L. Strong, Jearl Walker and others, usually contains advanced projects
suitable for high school or above. Worth browsing through in the library as it may often contain some
interesting information suitable for pre-high school classes. All the Amateur Scientist columns are available
Chemistry, American Chemical Society (out of print)
This should be available in a library. Of particular interest is the "Lab Bench" column. (Available in reprint
as "Lab Bench Experiments in Chemistry".)
Source books for experiments, activities, demonstrations, and information. Many books duplicate activities found
in others with variations in set-up and applications. Activities can be modified to be applicable to any level and
materials and apparatus can often be simplified. Addresses of publishers are listed at the end of this compilation.
Alexander, Allison, and Bower, Susie, Science Magic; Prentice-Hall, 1986.
19 experiments, using common materials, designed for youngsters 4 to 8 years old with parental guidance.
Topics include heat, light, mirrors, water works, and sound. Each experiment is well illustrated with brief
explanations of the science behind it.
Allison, Linda, and Katz, David, Gee, Wiz! How to Mix Art and Science or The Art of Thinking Scientifically; The
Yolla Bolly Press, 1983.
Written for children and adults. Contains experiments in science that use everyday materials along with
clear and simple explanations. This is an excellent source of projects.
Alyea and Dutton, Tested Demonstrations in Chemistry, 7th Ed; Journal of Chemical Education.
This is the "Bible" for Chemical Demonstrations. Some are suitable for elementary school, but most are for
middle school or above. You should have some knowledge of chemistry. Mostly outlines of
demonstrations, including how to make up solutions, with little or no explanation, but well referenced to the
Journal of Chemical Education. Has little safety information other than occasional "Caution" statements. A
number of demonstrations are dangerous and care should be exercised in selection.
Alyea, Hubert, TOPS in General Chemistry, 3rd Ed.; Journal of Chemical Education.
Experiments for projecting with an overhead projector. Use with Alyea's inclined plane, build a special
adapter, or use petri dishes instead of Alyea's cells.
Alyea, Hubert, Micro-Chemistry Projected, 2nd Ed; Tops.
Companion to TOPS book. More micro experiments to project for your classes.
Alyea, Hubert, Armchair Chemistry, 2nd Ed; Tops.
How to put a chemistry lab in the hands of each student. Once set up, this can provide many student -
experiments at low cost.
Amery, Heather, The Know How Book of Experiments; Usborne, 1977.
A well illustrated collection of safe and simple physical science experiments for youngsters to do at home.
Utilizes lots of common materials. Tells why each experiment works and includes interesting facts and -
Amery, Heather, and Littler, Angela, The Know How Book of Batteries and Magnets; Usborne, 1975.
A well illustrated collection of safe and simple electrical (battery powered) activities making games and
models for youngsters, ages 7 to 12. Utilizes common materials, but does require a trip to an electronics or
Barr, George, Science Projects for Young People; Dover, 1986.
A reprint of the 1964 edition. Projects intended for elementary school children using household materials.
Topics include light and color, electricity and magnetism, water and earth science, air and weather, sound,
chemistry, plants, animals, and science in the home.
Barr, George, Science Tricks and Magic for Young People; Dover, 1987.
A reprint of the 1968 edition. Twenty-four scientific tricks, using common materials, involving air pressure,
electricity, liquids, light, heat, motion, and more.
Berry, Donna A., A Potpourri of Physics Teaching Ideas; AAPT, 1987.
Selected reprints from The Physics Teacher, April 1963-December 1986. Articles include explanations of
phenomena and everyday things, construction projects, demonstrations, and class activities requiring
apparatus ranging from simple to complex. Appears best suited for middle school thru college, but many
ideas useful for elementary teachers.
Bohren, Craig F., Clouds in a Glass of Beer; Wiley, 1987.
Explanations of atmospheric physics with over 25 experiments to observe or reproduce natural phenomena.
Borgford, Christie L., and Summerlin, Lee R., Chemical Activities; ACS, 1988.
Laboratory activities in many areas of chemistry for junior high and high school students. Each experiment
includes step-by-step directions and some questions. For explanations, obtain the Teacher Edition.
Brin, Susannah, and Sundquist, Nancy, 50 Science Experiments I Can Do; Price Stern Sloan, 1988.
50 experiments for children with air, bubbles, color,chemistry, insects, light, plants, rocks and minerals,
weather, and more using common materials. Most experiments are simple, but a few should have adult
Brown, Bob, More Science for You - 112 Illustrated Experiments; Tab, 1988.
Experiments with vision, motion, weight, surface tension, temperature, sound, light, magic, and other topics.
Each experiment briefly lists the problem, materials needed, what to do, and an answer or explanation with
an illustration, all on one page. Adult supervision recommended.
Brown, Robert J., 333 Science Tricks and Experiments; Tab, 1984.
A collection of science tricks and experiments in many areas taken from the author's syndicated column
"Science For You"
Brown, Robert J., 333 More Science Tricks and Experiments; Tab, 1984.
More tricks and experiments from Brown's "Science For You" column.
Brown, Robert J., 200 Illustrated Science Experiments for Children; Tab, 1987.
Experiments and projects with air, sound, water, surface tension, mechanics, chemistry, light, heat, biology,
electricity and magnetism, and more. Recommended for children with adult supervision.
Brown, Sam Ed, Bubbles, Rainbows, and Worms; Gryphon House, 1981.
A well organized book of science experiments for pre-school children using air, animals, the environment,
plants, senses, water, and more. Each section contains a listing of relevant books for children.
Caney, Steven, Steven Caney's Invention Book; Workman, 1985.
Describes many inventions such as Life Savers, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Levi's, and more. Some projects
are included. Great source book for class discussions.
Caney, Steven, Steven Caney's Play Book; Workman, 1975.
Contains over 70 games and projects using inexpensive materials. Make balloon rockets, boomerangs,
solar heaters, sun clocks, roll back cans, salt gardens, and more. Hazard Alert: Directions for The Wave
Machine call for alcohol and paint thinner. This is a fire/explosion hazard. Substitute mineral oil and
Caney, Steven, Steven Caney's Toy Book; Workman, 1972.
Describes how to make toys using everyday materials. This includes many science toys such as a water lens,
barometer, tube telephone, a movie wheel and more.
Carson, Mary Stetten, The Scientific Kid; Harper & Row, 1989.
Thirty-five experiments for elementary school youngsters, some requiring adult assistance, covering a wide
range of activities in the physical and biological sciences. Each activity contains step by step illustrated
directions and is accompanied by a photograph.
Catherall, Ed, Adhesion; Wayland, 1983.
Investigations into viscous liquids, adhesion, and adhesives in nature for youngsters using common
materials. Twenty-nine illustrated experiments ask lots of questions to be answered by observations and
offer a few brief explanations when needed.
Catherall, Ed, Elasticity; Wayland, 1983.
Investigations into stretching materials, elastic materials, and springs, for youngsters using common
materials. Twenty-nine illustrated experiments ask lots of questions to be answered by observations and
offer a few brief explanations when needed.
Catherall, Ed, Friction; Wayland, 1983.
Investigations into slopes, friction, and reducing friction for youngsters using common materials
occasionally requiring some construction of apparatus. Twenty-nine illustrated experiments ask lots of
questions to be answered by observations and offer a few brief explanations when needed.
Chen, Philip S., Entertaining and Educational Chemical Demonstrations; Chemical Elements, 1974.
Knowledge of chemistry is needed. Some pyrotechnics demonstrations included without adequate safety
Chisholm, Jane and Johnson, Mary, Introduction to Chemistry; Usborne, 1983.
An illustrated introduction to chemistry for youngsters. It explains concepts of atoms and molecules,
valency, chemical reactions, along with some chemistry of everyday things. Some experiments, but only
Cobb, Vicki, and Darling, Kathy, Bet You Can!; Avon, 1983.
A collection of science tricks you can do with simple explanations. Covers chemistry, physics and math.
Cobb, Vicki, and Darling, Kathy, Bet You Can't!; Avon, 1980.
A collection of science tricks you can't do. Covers chemistry, physics and math.
Cobb, Vicki, Chemically Active; Lippincott, New York, 1985
A collection of chemical experiments using materials found at home combined with explanations of chemical
Cobb, Vicki, Fuzz Does It; Lippincott, 1982.
Easy to do experiments with animal fuzz, plant fuzz, fuzz from webs and cocoons, fibers, and more.
Contains a simple fiber identification chart.
Cobb, Vicki, Gobs of Goo; Lippincott, 1983.
Easy to do experiments with goo using household materials. Includes mayonnaise, flour and water, starch
and water, egg whites, and other gooey things.
Cobb, Vicki, The Secret Life of Hardware; Lippincott, 1982.
Science experiments with cleaners, polishes, waxes, paints, rope, glue, tools, and electricity. Each section
explains how things were invented and why things work.
Cook, James G., and The Thomas Alva Edison Foundation, The Thomas Edison Book of Easy and Incredible
Experiments; Wiley, 1988.
A wide range of experiments for youngsters ranging from elementary through high school. Experiments
cover chemistry, electrochemistry, electricity, magnetism, solar energy, nuclear science, and more. Items to
build include a phonograph, a pinhole camera, an electric pencil, a radio, a Geiger counter, and more. Also
contains a bibliography of books for information and additional experiments.
Disney, Walt, Simple Science; Bantam, 1986.
Using a storybook format, a walk with Snow White introduces scientific principles about the weather,
seasons, insects, birds, plants and trees. A second story uses Mickey Mouse to introduce principles and
activity ideas on sound, taste, magnets, and plants. Applicable to pre-school up to about 2nd grade.
Edge, R. D., String & Sticky Tape Experiments; AAPT, 1987.
Over 150 experiments in physics utilizing rubber bands, cellulose tape, paper clips, drinking straws, and
other common materials. Experiments cover all fields of physics and are indexed as to applicable level
(elementary thru university), degree of difficulty, and qualitative vs quantitative.
Ehrlich, Robert, Turning the World Inside Out; Princeton, 1990.
A collection of physics demonstrations covering motion, gravity, friction, fluids, heat, waves, electricity, -
magnetism, and more. Contains an index of those with surprising results, relative cost factors, need for -
overhead projector, need construction, and relative time.
Forte, Imogene, Science Fun; Incentive, 1985.
Divided into three sections, investigating, exploring, and experimenting, this book attempts to help
youngsters appreciate the science in everyday life. Some experiments should have adult supervision.
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