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Chemical Demonstrations  

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Howdy! The resources and search strategies on this guide will assist you in locating books, articles, and videos involving chemical demonstrations.



Below are links to videos, mainly websites, showing chemical demonstrations.  

A few of Dr. Shakhashiri's videos are on YouTube.

Dr. Peter Wothers Open Lectures
Six 1-hour public lectures based on annual chemical demonstrations for the public by University of Cambridge professor Dr. Peter Wothers.

Shakhashiri Chemical Demonstrations Videos
This DVD contains 49 demonstration by Dr. Shakhashiri. Includes a 91-page accompanying instructor's guide.

The Magic of Chemistry
Demonstration at the Royal Institution by Dr. Andrew Szydlo.

The Modern Alchemist
2012 Christmas Lecture by Dr. Peter Wothers at the Royal Institution.

CheMagic Chemical Demonstration Videos
Developed by Drs Rothenberger and Webb at Illinois State University.

Royal Society of Chemistry Videos
Select the videos with the generic filmstrip image.

The Periodic Table of Videos
Dr. Poliakoff's videos/demos for the elements.

Theo Gray's Mad Science
Demos based on Gray's book by the same title.



Below is a list of a few books containing chemical demonstrations, lecture demonstrations, and related information.
Chemical Demonstrations: A Handbook for Teachers of Chemistry
Authored by Dr. Bassam Shakhashiri, University of Wisconsin-Madison, this 5-volume set is the definitive collection of chemical demonstrations.

Spectacular Chemical Experiments

Chemical Curiosities: Spectacular Experiments and Inspired Quotes

Chemical Demonstrations: A Sourcebook for Teachers

Classic Chemical Demonstrations

Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments All Lab, No Lecture

Physics Demonstrations: A Sourcebook for Teachers of Physics

cheMagic: 50 Chemistry Classics and Magical Tricks

Chemical Magic

Favorite Demonstrations for College Science

Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste

To find books here at Texas A&M, you could just conduct a keyword search (e.g., chemical demonstration) in our library catalog called LibCat.

Another approach is to use Library of Congress Subject Headings, which search for items that could be described differently using keywords under a single subject heading. After changing the dropdown menu from "Keyword" to "Subject headings browse" in the advanced search of LibCat, individually try the following subject headings: Chemistry Experiments, Science Experiments, or Scientific Recreations.

To search for books beyond what is owned by Texas A&M, use a database called WorldCat to find and request.



Most of the journal articles involving chemical demonstrations will be found in the Journal of Chemical Education, Education in Chemistry, and Chemical Educator. If you want to search those journals plus many others you'll want to use a database.

Three education databases you might try are: ERIC and Education Full Text , and Education Index Retrospective. You can try keyword searching (e.g., chemical demonstrations) or try some of the following subject headings.

ERIC: DE "Demonstrations (Educational)" or DE "Demonstrations (Science)"

Education Full Text: DE "Teaching Demonstrations"

Education Index Retrospective: DE "Science -- Demonstrations" or DE "Chemistry -- Demonstrations"

You can also combine those with keywords like chemistry, chemical, or even a particular type of demonstration (e.g., kinetics, phosphorescence, or hydrogen balloon). If the full text is not available in the database, use the "Find Text @ TAMU" button to locate the full text or request the item through our Get It For Me service.


A Little History...

A few items about the history and art of the chemical demonstration:

Jensen, W. B. (1991). To demonstrate the truths of “chymistry.” Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 10, 3-15

Kauffman, G. (1996). Lecture demonstrations, past and present. The Chemical Educator, 1(5), 1-33.

Toftlund, H. (1988). History of the lecture demonstration. Education in Chemistry, 25(4), 109-111.

Taylor, C. A. (1988). The art and science of the lecture demonstration. Bristol, England: Adam Hilger.

History of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
Started in 1825 by Michael Faraday and continues to this day!

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Below is a list of a journals and magazines that feacture chemical and scientific demonstrations.

Chemical Educator
Prior to ~ 2009, each issue contained a feature called "Laboratories and Demonstrations". In addition to browsing each issue, you can conduct a keyword search for "Laboratories and Demonstrations" at the e-journal website.

Education in Chemistry
Most issues have a feature called "Exhibition Chemistry",which discusses a demonstration. The online version has a link for Exhibition Chemistry that lists a a dozen or so demonstrations, as well as links to a few videos.

Journal of Chemical Education
Most issues have a feature called "Demonstration". In addition to browsing each issue, you can conduct a keyword search for "Demonstration" at the e-journal website.


Other journals and magazines that may contain relevant demonstrations are:

Journal of College Science Teaching
Online and Print (Q183 .U6 J68)

Physics Education
Online and Print (QC1 .P657)

The Science Teacher
Online or Print (Q181 .S38)

The Physics Teacher
Online or Print (QC30 .P48)


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