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I want to experiment the things which we learn in chemistry as a twelfth grader.I want to do them at my home but I'm not supplied with enough reactants.What can I do by using such reactants.

I tried to carry out paper chromatography at home and that was the separation of a mixture of inks. I didn't have filter paper so I used a tracing paper. My solvent was a common organic solvent. But to my dismay,solvent front didn't rise so high. So my experiment didn't succeeded but I'm hopeful I can do other things too which'd be successful. It was first experiment

Can someone recommend a few projects/experiments (or sources that do the same) for a school student who's looking to improve her understanding of basic chemistry?

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    $\begingroup$ Doing simple chemical experiments won't help you advance much; doing advanced chemistry on your own without guidance can be tedious, pricey and sometimes dangerous. I would recommend to find a chemistry workshop. It can be a university section which offers practical lab work with elements of teaching for school students (which is IMO ideal), or some sort of chemistry club/open space where people of the same interest gather together and do lab work under supervision. You can do theoretical chemistry on your own, but for practical synthetical/analytical work you need a community anyway. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Sep 11 '17 at 9:03
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    $\begingroup$ Well, I would ask the teacher and explain what you've explained to us. I would expect that he/she will try to help you, if not resource-wise, but at least you can get better suggestions of what to do and were to start; also, asking costs nothing) $\endgroup$ – andselisk Sep 11 '17 at 9:12
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    $\begingroup$ In short, don't try. The reactions that you learn are overly simplified, and you have no idea what are the complications involved when actually doing it. Try reading a few research papers about how such reactions are actually conducted. $\endgroup$ – Pritt says Reinstate Monica Sep 11 '17 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ @SaraAsfar I believe you need a real lab in the first place and watching/reading experiments online won't help you much and is in my opinion a waste of time. Maybe ask around in social networks, post a few tweets to get in touch with people who work in an actual lab. If you insist on online videos, I can suggest YT channels NurdRage, Doug's Lab and TPM Chem (in order from fun to more advanced). $\endgroup$ – andselisk Sep 15 '17 at 8:34
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    $\begingroup$ When I was younger than you currently are I got for Christmas a box exactly called il Piccolo Chimico (the little chemist :). Perhaps you can find some scientific toy box like that. There is quite a lot to do. And with your age and high school education you might be able to integrate it with more chemicals and apparatus. And remember Safety First $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Sep 17 '17 at 16:06
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My favorite "textbook" on home-chemistry is the Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments (Robert Brent).

It's a neat little book, and since it was published so long ago (1960s) it's not really available as a (literal) book these days. But fear not, because the PDF version can be easily found online!

A reliable place to download it from is archives.org.


Small warning:

I wouldn't recommend this to young children because quite a few experiments/projects mentioned there make use of an open flame (that's pretty much the only reason...). So be sure to conduct them in an open space far from anything inflammable.

Maybe this is the book/resource you're looking for? ;)


(A spot of light reading)

However, as the gents in the comments section have pointed out, conducting home-experiments won't (necessarily) make you a "Chemist". But I highly recommend you experiment (safety is important too) as frequent as you can, because over time it can firmly root a scientific bent of mind in you.

Intelligence, inquisitiveness and experience (and empathy) are highly prized values in the scientific world.

Besides, as you experiment at home (while you are still a high-school student) you'll soon stumble upon an extremely important idea:

No real experiment can be perfectly replicated

And you can only come to truly appreciate this fact when you experiment yourself...a lot.

No matter what experiment you do, no matter how perfect your set-up or procedure is, every time you conduct the same experiment you will never get the exact same result. Right now this "idea" may not seem like much (as a high-schooler, you might initially find this unbelievable), but its implications are profound and far-reaching.

That the fact that replicating experiments perfectly is impossible will soon lead you to another piece of insight: Probablity & Statistics rule science.

(End of light reading session)


Stemming from @andselisk's idea (in the comments under your post), you might find the following Youtube channels interesting (I'll try to add more when I get the time):

The next two are largely DIY channels, but some of their videos include projects that count as "Chemistry":


Thus armed with this knowledge, you shall sally forth and become a chemist (of sorts...)!

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    $\begingroup$ I agree that you can learn from the web. However the theory of how one does a titration and the physical skill to do one are two different things. // I also make the point that labs have hoods, safety showers and eyewashes. You really need to think about safety as you start doing various experiments. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Sep 21 '17 at 13:09

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