Articles

    ChemLinks for Kids

    Kids, in this column we¹ll put together some of our favorite internet sites for chemistry experiments and learning activities at the elementary school level. This is so that you have something to do in between our monthly columns! One of our favorite resources through the years has been the American Chemical Society magazine WonderScience. It is now published solely on the web at www.acs.org/wondernet. Activities investigate topics in science through fun, safe, and easy experiments using inexpensive materials found in the home or grocery store. 

    Please note:  All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

    A very appealing and information-loaded site is hosted by www.miamisci.org. Within their "Education" link is an "On-Line Educational Resources (SLN)" link to such on-line activities as pH and "The Atoms Family", which deals with energy concepts. Both feature highly interactive portraits that are just right for K-5. The Minnetonka Science Center is loaded with teacher tools and ooey, gooey recipes for K-5 science (Gak, Oobleck, Slime, even a singing cake). Start at www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/science and proceed to "Teacher Information". This site also contains useful science fair information. Check out the lesson plans at this science connection: http://student.biology.arizona.edu/sciconn/. They include density of cereals, crime scene investigations with paper chromatography, and oobleck and glurch, all for grades 3 and up. Now that you¹ve made some Oobleck, hop to the Jefferson Labs site for ideas on what to do with it: http://education.jlab.org and click on the "BEAMS" program for grades 6-8 activities. There are also great periodic table and element games on-line here.

    A refresher about atoms, elements and matter is hosted at www.chem4kids.com. Also provided for an advanced student are sections on math and chemical reactions. "Project Primary" at www.owu.edu/~mggrote/pp/chemistry/f_chemistry.html has K-3 activities on polymers, kitchen chemistry, and liquid nitrogen ice cream. A great site for minerals, soils, and clays can be found at http://cms.lanl.gov/K_12.html. Numerous links are summarized as well as downloadable activities. Wonderful kid sites that contain a lot of elementary science information, including some on chemistry, are Bill Nye's (BillNye.com), Beakman & Jax (www.beakman.com) and Marshall Brain's (www.howstuffworks.com, see the Chemistry link). 

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    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    kcarrado@anl.gov
    April 2001