You Be The Chemist Activity Guides offer interactive lesson plans and experiments that are easily adaptable for engaging K-8 students. Whether used in classrooms, after school, in camps, at STEM fairs, and in other locations, Activity Guides help educators bring hands-on science to students everywhere!


Activity Guides in Action

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum: Hands-On Chemistry Day!

On April 23rd, CEF teamed up with Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to bring a Hands-On Chemistry day to over 100 preschool- and elementary school-aged students! CEF staff and museum volunteers used two of our favorite Activity Guide experiments—Milk Rainbow and Floating Paper Clips—to teach students how surface tension affects our everyday lives. CEF is thrilled to partner with Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, which provides “interactive exhibits and education resources that promote the healthy development of children in their formative years.” Read more about Betty Brinn Children’s Museum here! A huge thank you to Brenntag Great Lakes for sponsoring the event and making some truly adorable pictures possible.

Koshland Science Museum: STEM Family Night & Museum Day Live!

Last week, CEF brought hands-on science to the Koshland Science Museum for two great events to explore the world of chemistry! On March 10th, CEF helped to promote grassroots and family engagement in STEM learning at “STEM Family Night” with the nonprofit Turning the Page. One hundred middle school students, parents, and teachers learned about the human impact on climate change with the Activity Guide lessons for Blubber in Sea Mammals, Melting Ice with Salt, and Floating Paper Clips.

On March 12th, CEF exhibited alongside the Association for Women in Science, the American Chemistry Society, and Science Ninjas as part of Smithsonian magazine’s “Museum Day Live!” The annual event encourages the public to explore national museums, cultural institutions, zoos, aquariums, parks and libraries, by offering free admission for the day. This year the focus was to reach women and girls of color in underserved communities in honor of Women’s History Month. Over 500 people visited the Koshland Science Museum for the event and CEF staff helped budding scientists get their hands dirty making tie dye t-shirts and getting water to defy gravity!


Celebrating National Chemistry Week at CEF

Educators and students across the country celebrated the value of chemistry in daily life during National Chemistry Week 2015 through public events, classroom activities, and awareness raising. At CEF, we used our You Be The Chemist® Activity Guides to add another shade to this year’s theme, “Chemistry Colors Our World.”

Starting off with one of our personal favorites, Milk Rainbow, we created a new video each day to show how chemistry colors the world all around us!

Watch on YouTube

Watch all of our videos on our National Chemistry Week page. You can access the full Activity Guides, including all educator resources and over 50 lesson plans, by downloading them for FREE. We hope you enjoyed National Chemistry Week as much as we did!

Taking Science Out to the Ballgame – Charlotte, NC

CEF collaborated with Clariant Corporation to hit a grand slam!

As the science education sponsor for the Charlotte Knights’ August 10 home game, Clariant wanted to engage young fans in hands-on exploration. They enlisted us to bring some crowd-pleasing science activities! We chose five irresistibly fun experiments – ranging from testing marshmallow launchers to finding the sweet spot on a baseball bat – and led a team of enthusiastic Clariant volunteers in sharing them with fans. In the end, hundreds of young baseball fans had a great time and even learned a thing or two about science and the world around them.

Check out the video for a birds-eye view of the experiments – and for some priceless student reactions.

CEF and Clariant at Charlotte Knights Baseball Game Watch on YouTube.

Philadelphia Science Carnival – Philadelphia, PA

CEF partnered with The Dow Chemical Company to bring hands-on science to the Philadelphia Science Carnival

CEF and The Dow Chemical Company staff share science experiments with students, including Marshmallow LaunchersIron in Cereal, Floating Paper Clips, and other lesson plans relating to the science of sports. Visit us next year in Philadelphia as the CEF staff joins The Dow Chemical Company once again to celebrate science!

STEM Fair – Washington, DC

CEF shares hands-on science with DC students.

CEF staff volunteered at a local STEM fair in Washington, D.C., where students explored science through the Goofy Putty and T-Shirt Tie-Dye lesson plans.


Earth Day Challenge

In 2014, CEF launched the first Earth Day Challenge, a video contest for grade K-8 classes. The contest encourages students and educators to explore their world using chemistry by submitting a video inspired by the Activity Guide lessons. The prizes include a $1,000 monetary prize for the winning class, a $200 gift card for the class educator, and a commemorative plaque for the school! Visit the Earth Day Challenge to learn more.

Congratulations to the Winner of the 2015 Earth Day Challenge!

Chemistry is not a Mystery V2041015 from Imageworks LTD on Vimeo.

Featured by National Organizations

CEF has been working with a variety of organizations to bring the Activity Guide lessons into classrooms everywhere! Several national organizations have featured the Activity Guides, allowing more educators than ever to learn about and access these resources.

If your organization would like to feature and share the Activity Guides, contact CEF at for more information.