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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Kind, V. & Hadi-Talab, R. (2005). Demonstrating Chemistry Part 1: From element origins to chemical reactions. School Science Review 86(316): 61-68.
  • Publication type: Journal Article

Author(s) from Durham


The notion 'chemical reaction' distinguishes chemistry from other sciences and is an important preliminary to developing sound understanding of other subjects. The idea that 'a chemical reaction produces new products is also important. Many sound points on these themes can be presented using demonstration reactions. Practical details for a wide range of such reactions are given here, with descriptions of music and illustrations designed to help illuminate and engage an audience. The reactions are presented as a series of interconnected sections which, taken together, show how chemists seek to control chemical reactions in order to produce the everyday products we take for granted. In this article, demonstrations to illustrate the origins of the chemical elements, that elements exist in finite quantities, that chemical reactions involve breaking and making chemical bonds and examples of chemical reactions are presented. A subsequent article will provide demonstrationws to help with teaching the mole, controlling chemical reactions, inctroducing entropy and making new products.

School of Education