Im not sure if this is the right place to ask, but what are some good chemistry experiments or projects that could be conducted in grade 12?

Here's what I have found so far:

  • Preparation of aspirin

  • Synthesis of dyes

  • Analysing the percentage of metals present in coins

In my opinion, these projects are not something that grade 12 students should be doing, I'm looking for something more complex, more in touch with research being conducted in universities.

Edit: Please refrain from suggesting topics that involve spectroscopy or crystallography or any other equipment unlikely to be found in a high school lab.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Synthesis of dyes can be as complex as you want it to be. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Mar 30 '17 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ The school wouldn't let me do it if it involves a lot of heating/high pressures. Furthermore, some student is already doing it and we can't repeat the topics. $\endgroup$ – Zwolf Mar 30 '17 at 12:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, it still can be as complex as you want, even without much heating or high pressures. But OK, if this topic is taken, let's forget it. Do anything else. Determine the composition of $\ce{MgCl2}$ solvate(s) with ethanol. Analyze dust in the air. Separate different kinds of chlorophyll by chromatography. After all, the ability to come up with a topic on your own is one of the prerequisites to being a researcher. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Mar 30 '17 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @IvanNeretin, Can I have some more information on dyes? $\endgroup$ – Zwolf Mar 30 '17 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Look at the most complex molecules on this page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azo_compound $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Mar 30 '17 at 20:16

What about browsing across

  • the section Laboratory Experiments in the Journal of Chemical Education? This month (march issue), for example with "Unboiling an Egg: An Introduction to Circular Dichroism and Protein Refolding" by Hoben et al., (DOI:10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00319), or "Demonstrating the Effect of Surfactant on Water Retention of Waxy Leaf Surfaces" by Chiu et al., (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00546)

  • more broad than the journal, visiting educational ressources the American Chemical Society offers

  • as an example from the other side of the pond, a collection provided by the Royal Society of Chemistry (you may refine your search by age of the audience)

  • albeit less chemistry is not the barycentre, bring science home in the Scientific American

and then, choosing while taking into account what resources are at your disposition.


How about some biochemistry?

  1. Enzyme characterization (best if combined with biology or biotechnology)
  2. Protein purification (best if combined with either biology or biotechnology)
  3. Protein crystallization (best if combined with physics+math+biology)
  • $\begingroup$ All these projects are great, but they require the use of crystallography, which we won't be able to do at school. $\endgroup$ – Zwolf Mar 30 '17 at 15:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.