GCSE Chemistry provides some of the foundations for understanding the world around us and its future. Scientific understanding is changing our lives, and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
The resources on this page link chemistry research and ‘real-world’ chemistry to topics from the GCSE National Curriculum. The resources are free to download, modify and use under a Creative Commons License.
This activity compares two seaweed extracts (polymers called alginate) to see which might be better at absorbing iron. Dietary iron is known to be a risk factor for bowel cancer and research at the University of Birmingham is showing how alginate from seaweed might be able to help.
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, polymers, covalent bonding, ions, lifestyle risk factors, medicine development
Investigate how zeolites can be used to remove hazardous metals from water and how they are being used in the Fukushima cleanup.
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, water treatment, ions
Compare activated carbon to BBQ charcoal to learn which is better at removing pollutants from water
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, carbon, molar calculations, Earth’s water resources
Architects, jewellers and artists often oxidise copper to make beautiful blue/green ‘patinas’ on the surface of metal surfaces, such as the Mermaid fountain (Birmingham, UK) and the Statue of Liberty (New York, USA). Here we can make our own!
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, properties of metals and alloys.
Distil common fizzy drinks to learn about fractional distillation of crude oil
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, fractional distillation, intramolecular bonding, boiling points
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is present in the living cells of animals and plants, and contains the genetic code that determines the make-up of every single protein of an organism. In this experiment, we extract the DNA from cells of strawberries and bananas.
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, DNA, DNA structure.
In this activity students make a simple copper and zinc battery and hydrogen fuel cell.
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, energy change, electrochemistry, chemical cells, fuel cells.
In this activity students compare how different metals corrode in agar gel doped with pH indicator. They then draw links between electochemisty and metal reactivity.
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, properties of metals and alloys, the pH scale, bonding.
Explore a natural nanostructured material and learn how scientists are copying that material to make self-cleaning windows
Curriculum Topics: Working scientifically, nanotechnology
For resources relating to GCSE teaching from BP, click here.
To showcase the huge range of jobs that can be found in Chemistry, perhaps show your students the ‘Future in Chemistry‘ profiles on the Royal Society of Chemistry website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.