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 award-winning guides are the perfect way to introduce science and chemistry concepts through hands-on activities and real-world connections!

The YBTC Activity Guides: Lesson Plans for Making Chemistry Fun are available for FREE download, including all lesson plans and educator resources:

Download them for FREE or purchase a flash drive


The Fourth Edition Activity Guides feature:

  • Over 50 lesson plans featuring science activities that use common, inexpensive household materials
  • Separate lesson sets geared towards grades K-4 and 5-8
  • Background information and explanations of lesson plans to help educators bring science to life in the classroom
  • Connections to the science education framework of the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Corresponding activity sheets, answer keys, vocabulary, and lesson extensions and modifications
  • Examples of how science and chemistry concepts connect to the real world
  • Connections to the You Be The Chemist Challenge®!


Share the Activity Guides with educators!

Interested in sharing the Activity Guides with your friends and colleagues? Download our YBTC Activity Guides! If you’re an educator, you can also learn more about bringing hands-on science into your classroom through CEF’s free professional development program – Essential Elements.







2014 Teachers’ Choice Award Winner!

Learning Magazine® has selected the Fourth Edition Activity Guides to receive a 2014 Teachers’ Choice Award for the Classroom category! In its twentieth year, the Teachers’ Choice Awards program is one of the most recognized and prestigious awards in the educational market. It is the only awards program that is exclusively judged by teachers in the classroom. We’re honored to know that teachers enjoy using our materials to make science fun and engaging for their students.


Watch the movie version!

Critics are raving about the film adaptations of our Activity Guide lessons created in honor of National Chemistry Week (October 2015) and Earth Day (April 2016). Activity Guide experts on CEF staff demonstrated some of their favorite experiments to highlight the themes of National Chemistry Week, “Chemistry Colors Our World,” and Earth Day, “Trees for the Earth.” Check out the videos below to see more!

Milk Rainbow (National Chemistry Week)

CEF kicked off National Chemistry Week with a video of one our personal favorite Activity Guides lessons-Milk Rainbow! Try it out for yourself to learn about surface tension and create swirls of color in milk. Watch how chemistry colors our world!

Watch on YouTube

Color Clouds (National Chemistry Week)

Liked Milk Rainbow? Try using chemistry to control how quickly food coloring diffuses in water! Check out Color Clouds from our Activity Guide lessons to learn more.

Watch on YouTube

Mysterious Mixtures (National Chemistry Week)

In honor of National Chemistry Week, CEF used our Mysterious Mixtures Activity Guide lesson to separate out different unknown mixtures of color! Download our Activity Guides to solve your own “mysterious mixture.”

Watch on YouTube

Density Totem (National Chemistry Week)

How did we make these beautiful layers of color? Try our Density Totem experiment from the Activity Guide lessons to find out!

Watch on YouTube

T-Shirt Tie-Dye (National Chemistry Week)

For the grand finale of National Chemistry Week videos celebrating how Chemistry Colors Our World, CEF made our own tie-dyed t-shirt! Try it yourself using our free T-Shirt Tie-Dye Activity Guide experiment.

Watch on YouTube

Capillary Carnations (Earth Day)

In honor of the 2016 Earth Day theme, “Trees for the Earth,” CEF used our YBTC Activity Guide experiment “Capillary Carnations” to show that trees aren’t just important to the future of our planet, they’re also scientific wonders! Watch flower petals change color as they pull food coloring and water up through their stems against the force of gravity.

Watch on YouTube


 Thank You!

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