Flame Test Lab

Step by Step Science
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education
Resource Type
Formats Included
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15 pages
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Step by Step Science


Need a great lab activity to engage your students and light up your classroom? This activity combines everything that students love: lab work, flames and color.

In this lab your students will try to identity the following six metal salts based on their emission colors.

Calcium chloride: Orange

Copper chloride: Blue green

Lithium chloride: Red orange

Sodium chloride: Yellow

Potassium chloride: Light violet

Strontium chloride: Red

Just like every person has a unique finger print, the color of light emitted by a metal when heated in a flame is unique to that metal. The emission colors can therefore be used to identify specific metals. When the metal salts are placed in the flame the electrons in each atom absorb energy. This energy is used to move the electrons from their ground state to an excited state. When the electrons move back to a lower energy level they emit the absorbed energy as a particle of light called a photon.

You can see a video of the flame test colors on my YouTube channel.

I hope you enjoy this great activity, I know your students will.


1) Teacher’s Guide.

2) Flame test lab worksheets and solutions in PDF and editable Pages documents.

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Total Pages
15 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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