Scavenger hunt

This is an excellent activity to use for review at the end of the semester. It illustrates how chemistry is ubiquitous in our lives. Students will work in groups of two to three. Tags are required on each item or sample indicating how it represents the required listed material. One sample (e.g., water) may represent several categories. The laboratory, chemistry kits or professors/instructors may not be used as a source of chemical answers. In other words, students need to find these items in their everyday lives. Students, however, may measure the materials using lab equipment where required. Groups were given two weeks to complete the hunt. Some of the samples may not be available or are too costly to purchase; an index card with the explanation may be accepted in these cases.

The major emphasis is on how many household products students can identify.

[The scavenger hunt on the next page is posted on our website,, under “Supplements”. Teachers might want to tailor the hunt for their own classes so it would be helpful to have an electronic version available. The answers will not be posted online.

Some of these items may no longer be easily available or be afoul of safety regulations. This is when an explanation on an index card is a group’s best option. You can also have students take selfies with the items instead of purchasing them or transporting them to school. For example, a trip to the hardware store or pharmacy might uncover items. A selfie with the product ensures students did not just find a photo online.]