chemistry2 1Welcome to the National 5 chemistry page.

We have made a start uploading resources for experimental work that could help to support teaching of the course.

The resources are accessed from the unit pages which you can get to from the links below.

Alternatively you can use the search facility or you can find a list of all the resources here.

The key areas covered in this Unit are:

homologous series — the study of cycloalkanes and branched chain alkanes and alkenes to include their physical, chemical properties, general formulae, systematic names, structural formulae, uses, and isomers


everyday consumer products — uses of alcohols and carboxylic acids: to include their physical, chemical properties; for straight chain alcohols and carboxylic acids (C1–C8) general formulae, systematic naming, structural formulae; manufacture of esters as a use of alcohols and carboxylic acids; uses of esters

Shampoo: Activity to make shampoo, involving steam distillation to extract natural essences.

Biodiesel:  A workshop based around the production and testing of Biodiesel (fatty acid ethy esters) from vegetable oil

Determination of alcohol content – The method discribed, using density, is actually one used in the Alcohol exemplar for the Researching Chemistry section of the New Higher. Follow the link for details.

Vinegar Cheats – an investigation into the possible watering-down of vinegar in the school canteen.

Titration – microscale – A microscale experiment, similar to the above, looking at the concentration of acid in different vinegars.


energy from fuels — energy calculations involving Eh = cmΔt (not per mole) calculations based on balanced equations

Dynamite soap (Demo)Exploding hydrogen/oxygen bubbles generated by the elextrolysis of water.

Piezo rockets (Demo)making and firing mini pipette rockets for hydrogen (or perhaps another flammable gas).

Whoosh bottle (Demo)Ignition of alcohol vapour in a 15l water bottle to produce a spectacular ‘whoosh’.

Ethanol Rocket – Similar to the whoosh bottle. A 2l drinks bottle is propelled across a room along a wire. The method allows calculations to be done relating to the energy changes.

Biodiesel A workshop based around the production and testing of Biodiesel (fatty acid ethy esters) from vegetable oil. Including energy values.

Non-Burning £5 Note – A demonstration of temperature and burning.

The key areas covered in this Unit are:

metals — metallic bonding and resulting electrical conductivity; balanced ionic equations for reactions of metals, extraction of metals and reduction reactions; electrochemical cells including a non-metal electrode; reactions of metals — electrons flow, redox reaction, oxidation, reduction, fuel cells and rechargeable batteries

Salt and Battery Use of fruit juices and different metal electrodes to investigate electrochemical cells.


properties of plastics — addition and condensation polymerisation including polythene and polyesters; representation of the structure of monomers and polymers, natural polymers

Gloopy and gooey (Demo)two experiments: Gaviscon in copper sulphate and PVA/Borax, both cross-linking polymers cross-linking polymers

Plastic Fantastic Synthesis and testing of an electrically conductive plastic – polypyrrole

Latex cross-linking – Some simple reactions involving the cross-linking of latex solution to form rubber balls, rubber bands and foam rubber.


fertilisers — the Haber process, commercial production of nitrate fertilisers, percentage mass compositions of fertilisers


nuclear chemistry — radiation process, alpha, beta and gamma radiation; specific properties mass, charge and ability to penetrate different materials; nuclear equations; uses of radioactive isotopes; half-life; use of isotopes to date materials


chemical analysis —techniques for monitoring the environment and methods for reducing pollution and titration with calculations

Flame colours (Demo)Using atomiser bottles (and other methods) for flame tests. (can perhaps be done as a class experiment)

Water analysis – a series of different experiments for the analysis of various ions in water.

The key areas covered in this Unit are:

rates of reaction — average rate of reaction calculated from graph to show change in rate as reaction progresses

Colourless orange or blue (Demo)a demo version of the Briggs-rauscher reaction as used in the antioxidants workshop.

Cool experiment (Demo) endothermic reaction between barium hydroxide and ammonium thiocyanate.

Light sticks (Demo)Effect of temperature on luminosity of glow-sticks (this can also be done as a class experiment)

Rhubarb, Rhubarb – Using rhubarb to decolourise permanganate in order to follow the rate of reaction, looking at concentration and surface area (and possibly temperature)

Antioxidants  – This is a range of investigations based around the Briggs-Rauscher oscillating reaction to look at antioxidant levels in fruits and teas (though the method can be adapted for any source of antioxidants).

Bleaching Blue Food Dye – Reaction to determine rate constant and order of reaction from the bleaching of blue food colouring by domestic bleach. (Workshop is aimed at Advance Higher but without the mathematics it can easily be adapted to this level).

Thiosulphate acid reaction – microscale – A small scale version of the classic investigation into rates of reaction. Use of small scale and a neutralising bath reduces the production of toxic SO2


atomic structure and bonding related to properties of materials — nuclide notation; isotopes and relative atomic mass; ions and ionic bonding; covalent molecular; covalent network and ionic lattices; physical properties of chemicals explained through bonding; chemical and ionic formulae including group ions


formulae and reaction quantities — balanced equations; gram formula mass, the mole, calculations relating mass, volume of solutions, concentration and moles

Formula of magnesium oxide – microscale – a small scale version of this classic reaction to determine the formula of magnesium oxide.

Water in a hydrated salt – microscale – a small-scale experiment to determine the stoichiometric amount of water in some hydrated salts.


acids and bases — dissociation of water into hydrogen and hydroxide ions; pH is related to the concentration of hydrogen and hydroxide ions in pure water, acids and alkalis; neutralisation titration

Colourful flowers (Demo)Make paper ‘flowers’ soaked in different buffer solutions. Then spray indicator on and you get different colour flowers.

Rainbow reaction (Demo) – Form a rainbow of colours to illustrate the pH scale with HCl and sodium carbonate along the length of a burette

ConductivityActivity using a (home made) conductivity flask to follow neutralisation reactions.

Conductivity – microscale – a microscale investigation into the conductivity of solutions.

Indicators – microscale – A look at pH and indicators and how to make universal indicator

Titration – microscale – a microscale version of a titration that does not require burettes. This particular experiment is investigating the acidity of vinegars.

Vinegar Cheats – a larger scale investigation into the possible watering down of vinegar in the school canteen.