Chemistry: The WHY Behind the WOW!

Chemistry: The WHY Behind the WOW!


About this course

Recommended Ages: 9-13

Levels: This course is only offered in one level.

Start Date: October 4. Course consists of 8 lesson plans. Students have 2 weeks after the last lesson is posted to complete the course. No live classes — view lessons on YOUR schedule.

Price: $120

Space Available: 

What kid doesn’t love to do chemistry experiments? But doing and understanding are two different things!! One of my pet peeves is when people say “My kid mixed baking soda and vinegar together today and watched it fizz! We did science!”. Um, no. You watched a reaction. Unless you know WHY it fizzed, you are simply watching science- not understanding it. Yeah, yeah, I’m an admitted science snob! 🙂 In this class, we are going to have a lot of fun with the WOWS, but our goal is to understand the WHYS. We’re going to go beyond the reactions, down to the molecular level, and see what the heck is really going on!

Even though this class is for the younger crowd, that doesn’t mean we’re going to skimp on scientific concepts! We don’t do fluff or surface skimming science at Next Level Homeschool! That said, unlike my high school chemistry class, this is basically a conceptual chemistry class and a “no math” zone with a few easy exceptions. The goal is to challenge students and give them a strong foundation in chemistry that will carry them into future chemistry classes.

We’re going to be covering a variety of topics in 8 weeks, including: matter, atoms & elements, the periodic table, molecules & mixtures, compounds and chemical reactions, solubility, acids & bases, and redox reactions.

LESSON PLANS: This is an 8 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION:We offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: This is a hands on class!! Each week, we’ll be doing at least one lab.  In certain weeks, students get to choose from a list of exciting and fun hands on projects to let them really dig deep into topics in the lesson plan that interest them the most! The goal is to allow students to explore the topic while allowing their creativity to flow. We encourage out of the box thinking! Generally projects can be submitted in any format of the student’s choosing…written, presentation, poster, stop motion animation, minecraft, song, skit…we’ve seen it all!! Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.

TIME: In general, expect 2-3 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

All labs are OPTIONAL (but highly recommended!), and I  provide a video or explanation for each lab for students who are unable to do the lab on their own.  I try to use household items where possible, but there will be some experiments that require chemicals you will need to order. I’ll provide a link for those items.

For certain things, I provide a link to Home Science Tools so you can see what I’m talking about. You can purchase from there or any other source you prefer (Amazon, etc…). If you purchase through Home Science Tools, you can use this promo code/coupon link to get $10 off your first $30 order: 

Wall Poster of the Periodic Table

Periodic Table: Book of the Elements


Gram Scale: Kitchen or Jewelry scale is fine.
Small object of your choice (can be something like a small toy, can of dog food, bar of soap, etc…)
100 ml Graduated Cylinder
Funnel (optional, but makes life easier!)
A solid object that will fit inside of your graduated cylinder easily. A rock is a good choice.
Large Balloon
Wide mouth container that will fit on your gram scale


Gram Scale
30 Small objects that don’t roll- for example m&ms, skittles, dried beans, beads, etc…
Table Salt

Week 3
Samples of the following elements (I order the 1g samples from this company):  Aluminum, Magnesium, Carbon, Selinium, Boron, Silicon, Gallium, Indium  NOTE: Elements are NOT toys! Do not open until the lab and do NOT handle without gloves!!!
Safety Goggles
Electric Circuit with Bulb


4 different colors of clay
3 clear cups or beakers
Plastic Spoon
2 Coffee Filters
Iron Filings
Vegetable or Olive Oil
A few different brands/colors of markers

Hydrogen Peroxide
3 Test tubes or small clear containers
Graduated cylinder or pipette (or eyedropper)
Baking Soda
Tall plastic water bottle or other bottle with a small neck that you can put a balloon around
5 Plastic Cups- the flexible kind, not the rigid kind
10 Flat headed metal thumbtacks
1 9-volt battery
Baking Soda
Lemon Juice
Distilled Water
Rubbing Alcohol

11 clear Plastic Cups or Beakers- or if you want to wash in between labs, you will need a total of 4 cups/beakers.
Vegetable Oil
Food Coloring
Spoon or stirring rod
Sandwich bag
Bottle of club soda or sparkling water
Pot/stove to heat water
cocoa powder
pipe cleaner
corn syrup

Red & Blue Litmus Paper
Specific pH measuring device: You can use these strips, but I will be using and recommend a pH meter.  I’ll also be using a liquid indicator, phenolphthalein– it isn’t required and you can also make your own red cabbage indicator for this experiment if you prefer. Justput about a cup of red cabbage leaves into a blender with 200 ml of DISTILLED water. Blend well. Pour through a strainer. The purple water you get will be your pH indicator.

As many of these solutions as you can get:
Grape juice
Lemon juice
Toilet Bowl Cleaner (wear gloves and goggles!)
Kitchen Cleaner
Dish Soap
Nail Polish Remover
Baking Soda
Hydrogen Peroxide
Tomato Juice

2 paper plates
Lemon Juice
Corn Syrup
Steel Wool
2 pieces of Sterling Silver (spoons, rings, etc… if you can’t get this, don’t worry about it!). It can be tarnished or untarnished (dull or shiny).
Baking Soda
Baking Dish
20-30 dull pennies- not brand new shiny ones!
2 new steel screws or nails
Iron acetate solution (make this by soaking 1 cubic inch of steel wool in 1/2 cup of vinegar for 24-48 hours before you do the lab. Place your container outside and attach a paper towel to the top of the container with a rubber band so gasses can escape but debris can’t get in)
White bowl or container (we need to be able to see the color change)
Hydrogen Peroxide


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

Total numbers of students in course