Chemistry Chat: First Day of School Icebreaker Lab Activity for Chemistry

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Chemistry Chat: A First Day of School Lab Station Icebreaker Activity for Physical Science and Chemistry Students. The first day of school should be fun, not boring! This science lab icebreaker activity will help your students learn about their classmates, while serving as a diagnostic tool for the instructor.

Do you want to be the fun teacher, or the one who reads the class syllabus out loud on the first day of school?

What are the benefits of this activity?
Group work is an important part of what we do in a science class. Each student will need a lab partner, and there will be many times in the classroom when group work is required. This activity will allow the students to get to know one another before they have to work together on a “real” assignment or lab. It also serves as a diagnostic tool for the instructor.

Looking for a similar activity for your biology or life science students? Click this link to view Biology Chat.

Looking for a similar activity for your physics students? Click this link to view Physics Chat.

What will the students be doing?
There are 10 lab stations. Students will rotate through each of the ten stations, completing the tasks at each station. Each station will contain a science-related task as well as an icebreaker question that each student must answer

Concepts covered at each lab station:
Station 1: Chemical and Physical Properties
Station 2: Graphing
Station 3: Metals and Nonmetals
Station 4: Periodic Table
Station 5: Lab Equipment
Station 6: Laboratory Safety
Station 7: Making Observations, Forming a Hypothesis
Station 8: Metric Scavenger Hunt
Station 9: Chemistry Prefixes and Suffixes
Station 10: Chemical Symbols

What is included in this product?
• 4-page student handout.
• 10 Chemistry Chat Lab Station Instruction Cards
• 8-Page Teacher Guide

Materials List:
• Small flask with cork stopper
• Iron Filings
• Sulfur
• Bar Magnet
• Microscope Slide
• Starch
• Iodine
• Medicine droppers
• 6 samples of elements. (You can use any 6 elements. I use: Lead, copper, aluminum, carbon, sulfur and iodine.)
• Meter stick
• Graduated cylinder
• Triple or quadruple beam balance
• Stopwatch
• Thermometer
• Raisins
• Club soda or Sprite
• A lab with safety features (Examples: Eyewash fountain, safety shower, fire extinguisher, fire blanket, fire alarm, etc.)
• Bag of sugar (or object with similar mass.)
• Can of soda (or object with similar volume.)
• Coin
• Paper clip
• Wood block (or any square or rectangular object.)
• Cotton ball

The 8-page teacher guide includes:
• Purpose of the activity.
• Description of what students will be doing.
• How to carry out your role as facilitator.
• Materials List
• Complete instructions for how to set up each lab station.
• Tips and suggestions for successful completion of the activity.
• Complete answer key for lab station questions.

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Amy Brown (Science Stuff)
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours

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Chemistry Chat: First Day of School Icebreaker Lab Activit
Chemistry Chat: First Day of School Icebreaker Lab Activit
Chemistry Chat: First Day of School Icebreaker Lab Activit
Chemistry Chat: First Day of School Icebreaker Lab Activit