Acidic and Basic Oxides – Dissolve several oxides (CaO, ZnO, CO2, P4O10) in water containing universal indicator to show a range of basic and acidic oxides.
Flame Tests – Spray solutions of ionic salts in methanol (e.g. NaCl, SrCl2, CuCl2) into an open flame to produce brilliant colors associated with exciting metal cations.
Fireworks Balloons – Show the brilliant colors of metal cations in a fun way by igniting hydrogen balloons containing metal salts.
Gas Discharge Tubes of the Noble Gases – show that different gases give different colors when subjected to an electric discharge (H2 tube also available)
Paramagnetic and Diamagnetic Salts – Provide experimental evidence of electron spin by bringing a powerful magnet close to suspended test tubes of MnSO4, FeSO4, NiSO4, and ZnSO4 to show the different responses due to different numbers of unpaired electrons.
Periodic Properties – Add pieces of Li, Na, K, Mg, and Ca, to beakers of water and phenolphthalein to observe the reactivity of metals from different parts of the periodic table. If desired, you can add HCl to those beakers where no reaction occurred.
ZnO and HCl – Add ZnO to water to show that it does not dissolve appreciably, then add acid to show that a basic oxide reacts with (and therefore dissolves in) an acid