Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsSPEAKER: Demonstrations and practical work can be used to provide evidence to address misconceptions. For example, vitamin C tablets react with water to produce carbon dioxide. However, children may believe that the bubbles are already in the effervescent tablets rather than being produced as a result of a chemical reaction. Asking children to prove this could involve them grinding the tablets into a fine powder and observing them, perhaps under a microscope, to see if there are any bubbles in there before adding them to the water.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds[FIZZING]

Exploring changes in materials through practical work

In this video, Rachel shows how vitamin C tablets can be used to demonstrate a chemical reaction.

When water is added to the tablet, bubbles are formed as carbon dioxide gas is produced. Children often believe that the bubbles are already in the tablet waiting to be released, and so they can also look at a ground up tablet under a microscope, before adding water to it.


Think about when children are asked to explain what they see in this demonstration. What words/phrases do you need to be looking out for to ensure that children are learning the science correctly?

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry

National STEM Learning Centre