A longtime educator favorite, the You Be The Chemist® Activity Guides are a must-have for those looking for fun ways to bring hands-on science to grade K-8 students. These activities are the perfect way to introduce science and chemistry concepts through hands-on activities and real-world connections!

In the past few years of the Fourth Edition, the Activity Guides reached thousands of students nationwide. Now, they’re even better than ever!

Check out the new and improved Fifth Edition Activity Guides by visiting our page on Teachers Pay Teachers


    What is included in the Fifth Edition Activity Guides?

  • Nearly 50 science activities that use common, inexpensive household materials
  • Ideas and guidelines to facilitate classroom integration using the 5E instructional model
  • Connections to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Background information and explanations to help educators become comfortable with the material and bring science to life
  • Real-world connections to careers, applications, and everyday life for the science and chemistry concepts in each activity
  • Differentiation techniques to enrich any classroom serving students ranging from kindergarten through 8th grade and to connect with students of varying ability levels

What topics do the Activity Guides cover?

The Activity Guides cover a range of topics across chemistry, biology, and physics, and can be extended to cover much more! The Fifth Edition Activity Guides are broken up into the following sections:

  1. Properties of Matter (18 activities)
    • States of Matter
    • Density
    • Surface Tension
    • Separation Techniques
    • Solubility
  2. Chemical Reactions (13 activities)
    • Basics of Chemical Reactions
    • Polymers
    • Acids & Bases
    • Reaction Rates & Catalysts
  3. Energy (8 activities)
  4. Forces & Interactions (5 activities)
  5. Life & Earth Sciences (5 activities)


Where can I use the Activity Guides?

The Activity Guide lessons are versatile and easy to do anywhere! Some examples of great places to try them out:

  • In the classroom
  • At home
  • In an afterschool program or summer camp
  • At a science fair or festival
  • At a museum event (chemistry day, family fun night, etc.)
  • At a family-oriented event (hosted by a school, a community organization, etc.)
  • In a children’s hospital
  • At another public event (sports game, performance, etc.)

Head on over to our Experiments in Action page to learn more or check out the movie versions of the activities!


You Be The Chemist Essential Elements℠

Essential Elements workshops provide K-8 educators with methods and resources for teaching chemistry concepts through hands-on learning and real-world connections. Anyone who attends an Essential Elements professional development workshop gets all activities for FREE! Visit our Essential Elements page to bring a workshop to your community, attend one of our upcoming webinars, or to sponsor a workshop near you.


Looking for the Fourth Edition Activity Guides? 

For a limited time, the Fourth Edition Activity Guides will still be available for free! Make sure to download a copy before they’re gone in June 2018. Download them here.



 Thank You!

Thanks to the many people who have played a role in the development of the Activity Guides! We would especially like to recognize our valued contributors and program volunteers. The development and production of these guides are only possible through your generous support.