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Listed under:  Science  >  Matter  >  Chemical analysis
Interactive resource

Grumpy in the desert

Help a friend who has crashed his car in the desert and jumbled up food and equipment. Recover ingredients needed to make tea from the mixed-up supplies. Separate mixtures by using scientific techniques such as distillation, filtration, centrifuging and magnetism.


VisChem topic 3: precipitation of an ionic salt

This web page contains a video clip, animations and student worksheets exploring the precipitation of silver chloride. The video has both filmed and animated scenes showing the process at observational and molecular levels. It explains how the reaction can be represented by a chemical equation.

Interactive resource

Making water drinkable: water treatment

Explore a water treatment plant. Look at how water can be treated to remove unwanted substances. Examine processes such as filtration, evaporation, distillation and flocculation. This learning object is one in a series of five objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Interactive resource

pH: what is pH?

Test solutions to find whether they are acidic, basic or neutral. Arrange them in order of acidity. Measure the pH of solutions using universal indicators and a pH meter. Identify mystery liquids by measuring their pH. For example, identify the liquid in a car battery as an acid. Remember, all acids and bases including ...

Interactive resource

Test for oxygen, carbon dioxide and water

Discover which of five different tests can be used to identify the presence of oxygen, carbon dioxide and water. Choose one of these three matters essential to life. Then perform each of the five tests in turn to determine if the matter is present in the test tube. Record your findings and use them to answer the conclusion ...

Teacher resource

Using 'Matter and structure of materials' - Teacher idea

This Teacher idea describes a series of 12 classes designed to introduce matter to year 7 students. Topics explored include matter, particle theory, the structure and properties of the five states of matter, elements and compounds and the kinetic theory of matter. It includes a unit of work developed and trialled by a teacher.

Teacher resource

Fuels: biofuels part 2: distilling an ethanol mixture - practical activity

In this practical activity, students perform a microscale distillation of an ethanol solution, which models the kind of process that is used to separate bioethanol from a fermentation mixture. This experiment is the second of three experiments on fuels. It follows on from, and provides support material for, the practical ...


Sintered glass filter candle, 1950s

This is a sintered glass filter candle with ultrafine porosity used for removing bacteria from fluids. It was used in the 1950s by Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Victoria, and is pictured with a porcelain filter candle.


Porcelain filter candle, c1900

This is a white porcelain filter candle used to filter fluids. It was manufactured in about 1900 by Doultan in England and used by Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Victoria. It is pictured with a sintered glass filter candle.


Soxhlet extractor used by Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, c1920

This is a glass extractor used for the preparation of pharmaceuticals. It is a part of a Soxhlet extraction apparatus used for the extraction and purification of solids using a variety of solvents. The extraction apparatus was used by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) Limited at Parkville in Victoria around 1920. ...

Moving Image

Lanolin, lip gloss and lubricants

What special substance can be extracted from sheep fleeces? Listen to interviews with Australians involved in making industrial lubricants and beauty products. Explore these uses of a vital substance made by a sheep's skin.

Moving Image

From chocolate buttons to magic patterns

Want to do a simple science experiment that works just like a magic trick? Watch the Surfing Scientist to find out how. He creates a pattern made up of regular shapes by dissolving coated chocolate buttons.

Interactive Resource

Copper processing

This interactive activity allows students to explore the processes involved in the mining and processing of copper ore and the production of copper. Students initially put the processes in the correct sequence and then select each stage to animate it and access relevant information. The smelting stage includes an activity ...


Copper processing

Find out how copper ore is extracted and turned into copper metal. This is a PowerPoint presentation showing the properties, uses and extraction of copper. It includes details of the mining and processing of copper ore, as well as smelting, converting and refining to produce copper metal. Most slides contain photographs ...


Solvent extraction of copper

Carry out an experimental investigation like those used in industrial laboratories. This is a fact sheet giving information and instructions for an experiment investigating the recovery of copper metal from ore using solvent extraction. It includes background information on the industrial process and chemistry involved, ...

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Getting iron out of breakfast cereal

You probably know your body needs iron and that you can get it from the foods you eat. Join the Surfing Scientist team as they attempt to extract iron from a bowl of breakfast cereal. What method do you think they will use?

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Lip balm from sheep wool

Learn about the science behind lip balm. Find out about the special properties of lanolin, a natural product obtained from the fleece of sheep, and how it is used in the cosmetics industry.

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Unzipping the secret to water in space

Imagine drinking your own urine! Well, that's exactly what Adam does, but only after it's been through a space-age process of purification. Discover how astronauts safely recycle all of their waste water to reduce the cost of taking tonnes of water into space.

Interactive resource

Mystery substances: pure substances

Solve crimes by identifying pure substances. Carry out chemical tests on common substances such as salt, baking soda and sugar. Observe and record how each substance reacts with a range of liquids and to heating. Build up a data table of chemical properties and use it to match mystery substances found at crime scenes. This ...

Interactive resource

Mystery substances: pure and mixed substances

Solve crimes by identifying pure substances and components of mixtures. Carry out chemical tests on common substances such as salt, baking soda and sugar. Observe and record how each substance reacts with a range of liquids and to heating. Build up a data table of chemical properties and use it to match mystery substances ...