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 experience science and chemistry concepts through real-world connections!

Now, completed in 2018, the Fifth Edition Activity Guides are available to help thousands more educators inspire students with the science of chemistry and STEM learning.

Find the Fifth Edition Activity Guides on our Teachers Pay Teachers page!


    What is included in the Fifth Edition Activity Guides?

  • Nearly 50 science activities using 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 build confidence with science content
  • Real-world connections to careers and everyday life that rely on science and chemistry concepts
  • Differentiation techniques to enrich learning in kindergarten through 8th grade, and across 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 organized 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! Here are some places educators already use them:

  • 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.)

Visit our Experiments in Action page to learn more, or see these videos 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 receives all activities for FREE! Visit our Essential Elements page to bring a workshop to your community, attend an upcoming webinar, or sponsor a workshop near you.


Looking for the Fourth Edition Activity Guides? 

Our Fourth Edition Activity Guides can be downloaded here.


 Thank You!

Thanks to the many people who have helped development the Activity Guides! We would especially like to recognize our valued contributors and program volunteers. T