Hands-On Science Kits and Demos
Teachers love our hands-on kits—they are tried and tested, they provide value for your dollar, and they are scientifically correct.
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AP, Coll; D, I, CP
You can simulate Rosalind Franklin's famous X-ray diffraction experiments that led to the discovery of the DNA double helix. All you need is a visible laser and two-dimensional patterns on a diffraction grating slide from the DNA Optical Transform Kit.
Note, as of January 2011 the DNA Diffraction Slides have been updated. The new slides are laser photo plotted at a higher resolution which allows us to better model the true structure of B-DNA. As a result you will find that the diffraction pattern of B-DNA (cell J) is different than that produced by the old diffraction slides, but is a more accurate representation of DNA's structure. The manual has been updated accordingly; please refer to it for more information.
The kit includes: a manual with background information and directions, a diffraction slide with patterns, and overhead transparency masters. A source of visible laser light is not included, but any red laser pointer will work. Your students can participate as well—additional diffraction slide can be purchased in sets of 5 or 10.
- DNA Optical Transform Kit Order No. 99-001
- Set of 5 additional diffraction slides only Order No. 11-005
- Set of 10 additional diffraction slides only Order No. 11-010
HS, AP, Coll; D, G, L
The Explorations in Materials Science Kits Teacher Kit (shown above) comes with a manual, 3 3-bar molds, and tin shot. The tin is melted and then poured into the molds to make bars as shown on the right; pre-made metal bars are not included. The molds are also used to make plastic and ceramic bars out of materials purchased from a hardware store.
High school students can actively explore and compare properties of different materials with the Explorations in Materials Science Kit. The core of the module is hands-on laboratory work, using elements of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and engineering. Students prepare working samples of the major classes of materials (metal, plastic, and ceramic) from molds included with the kit. Then they investigate the mechanical behavior, the electrical, magnetic, optical, and thermal characteristics, the chemical stability, and other physical properties, including density and grain structure, of each material.
The Explorations in Materials Science Kit, a joint offering from ICE and General Atomics. The kit contains an instruction manual with student activities, a resin mold for making bars out of different materials, and tin pellets to melted down into bars for testing. The Explorations in Materials Science Kit is available as a Teacher Kit, which contains ⅓ lbs. tin shot and 3 3-bar molds, enough materials for a single user or for a teacher demonstration, or as a Classroom Kit, which contains 2 lbs. tin shot and 15 3-bar molds, enough materials for 5 students or groups; we recommend groups of 2–3 students each. For a full list of materials needed to perform all the activities manual, click here.
- Teacher Kit Order No. 97-005
- Classroom Kit Order No. 97-005X
- Explorations in Materials Science Kit Replacement Parts List
(MS), HS, AP, Coll; G, I
Nanoworld adventures await inside this kit! Explore how we can accomplish the feats of "seeing" atoms, assembling them into a variety of novel structures, and customizing their properties to develop new technologies. Exploring the Nanoworld is available in both English and Spanish language versions. This general-audience activity kit contains everything you need (except a standard 9V battery):
|• color booklet||• magnifying glass||• diffraction slide|
|• magnet||• memory metal||• fiber optic|
|• LED flashlight||• light emitting diode|
- English version, Exploring the Nanoworld Kit Order No. 20-001
- Spanish version, Exploring the Nanoworld Kit Order No. 06-001
HS, AP, Coll; D, G, L
See nanotechnology in action! The LED Color Strip Kit illustrates the properties of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and semiconductor materials with a series of hands-on, minds-on activities that fulfill NSES Science Content Standards and STL Technology Content Standards. Because semiconducting materials found in LEDs are grown virtually an atomic layer at a time, LEDs represent an exciting application of nanotechnology.
The LED Color Strip Kit contains:
|• diffraction grating slide||• luminescent cap|
|• incandescent light bulb||• optical fiber|
|• strip of light-emitting diodes
(including an infrared LED)|
with a capacitor
|• 65-page instruction manual|
- LED Color Strip Kit Order No. 02-001
- Set of 10 color strips only Order No. 02-001S
- LED Color Strip Kit Replacement Parts List
HS, AP, Coll; G, L
Measuring the Resistivity of a Graphite Line
Using the Line of Resistance Kit you can explore the electrical properties of materials and circuits using a graphite pencil, a piece of paper, and a multimeter (not included).
The Line of Resistance Kit will help you teach your students to measure resistance using only a piece of paper and a graphite pencil!
Included in the kit is a manual with 10 easy-to-do experiments that students will enjoy. Some topics covered are: electrical resistivity of graphite and wire; resistance of serial and parallel circuits; and open and short circuits. The kit contains a piezoelectric igniter, which allows your students to demonstrate how lightning rods work (the path of least resistance). A multimeter is required but not provided.
The Explorations in Materials Science Kit is available as a Teacher Kit, which contains enough materials for a single user or for a teacher demonstration, or as a Classroom Kit, which contains enough materials for 20 students.
The Line of Resistance Kit is the first in a joint effort by ICE and General Atomic Sciences Education Foundation to bring hands-on materials and physical science to teachers and students. It is available as a teacher demonstration or for hands-on classroom use.
- Teacher Demonstration Kit Order No. 97-002
- Classroom Kit Order No. 97-002X
- Line of Resistance Kit Replacement Parts List
All Levels; D, I
Pre-shaped memory metal
Some metal alloys have shape-memory retention—thus they are said to have a memory. Our Memory Metal publication includes an eight-page description of the chemistry responsible for shape-memory retention, many diagrams (ready for overhead projection), and a sample of memory metal wire (Nitinol™) in the shape of ICE. With the metal wire and a cup of hot water, you can demo science in action! Pull the ends of the pre-shaped wire to distort it, then watch as it returns to the ICE shape when put into warm water.
- Memory Metal includes booklet plus sample of pre-shaped memory metal wire Order No. 91-011
- Additional small pieces or cut-to-size lengths of untreated Nitinol™ wire: Replacement Parts List
(MS), HS, AP, Coll; G, I, L
No wonder this is our most popular kit! When students build their own Nanocrystalline Solar Cell, they recreate the process of photosynthesis: they generate electricity from light using natural dyes from berries. The solar cell has enough electrical output to power a small motor (not included). The kit provides an interdisciplinary context for students learning basic principles in chemistry, biology, physics, as well as environmental science. The instruction manual includes comprehensive background information for the instructor, detailed laboratory instructions, and prepared materials for data collection and assessment.
The Nanocrystalline Solar Cell Kit contains enough to make 5 reusable solar cells. The following items are included in the Nanocrystalline Solar Cell Kit:
|• instruction manual||• 500 ohm potentiometer|
|• woodless HB graphite pencil||• 12 cm copper tape|
|• 10 binder clips||• 1 dropper bottle|
|• 10 conductive (tin dioxide coated) transparent glass slides in glassine envelopes|
|• 20 grams colloidal titanium dioxide powder, Degussa P25|
|• 15 mL iodine electrolyte solution in a dropper bottle|
There are enough materials for 5 reusable solar cells; additional kit components or replacement parts can be ordered separately. Note: the Solar Cell Kit does NOT include everything needed to complete the activities in the kit. To see a list of all materials and supplies needed--those included, required but not included, and optional--click here. Those available from ICE as additional components and replacement parts are starred in red.
Note: The Nanocrystalline Solar Cell Kit is intended for use by students properly supervised by a teacher. Teachers are expected to have extensive laboratory experience and a strong physical science background. Students must be properly supervised at all times and both teachers and students are expected to respect normal laboratory safety precautions.
- Nanocrystalline Solar Cell Kit with materials for 5 reusable cells. Order No. 98-001
- Extra glass slides, kit components and replacement parts: Replacement Parts List
HS, AP, Coll, GP; G, CP
The NanoVenture Board Game
NanoVenture: The Nanotechnology Board Game explores the connections between science, specifically nanotechnology, and society. In this game, players become leaders of a new country. The leaders are challenged to make decisions regarding their country's use of nanomaterials and nanotechnology for industrial expansion, military applications, economic security, and basic scientific research, while maintaining a high approval rating from the citizens of the country. These decisions require players to carefully analyze the interplay of technological advances, regulations, public perception and risk, while also learning about the emerging field of nanotechnology.
NanoVenture is ideal for use in high school and undergraduate classrooms. It is best to play the game with four to five players. However, teams can be used if there are more than six players.
NanoVenture was created by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Interdisciplinary Education Group (IEG) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Game rules, a glossary of terms, and an overview of the game may be found on the MRSEC website at http://mrsec.wisc.edu/Edetc/supplies/nanoventure/index.html.
- NanoVenture: The Nanotechnology Board Game Order No. 12-001
All Levels; D
Audiences of all ages enjoy learning about the Nanoworld! With the Nanoworld Presenter's Guide, presenters and teachers have access to background information on the nanoworld as well as the instructions and materials to demonstrate four simple nanotechnology-related experiments:
- Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Fiber-Optic Activity
- Diffraction Activity: Optical-Transform Structure Determination
- Memory-Metal Activity
- "Seeing Atoms" Activity: Scanning-Probe Microscopy
The Guide also includes talking points (with multiple variations for different audiences), supplemental information, applications, and Web links to enhance the presenter's own knowledge of the nanoworld. The Nanoworld Presenters Guide comes with a single "Try This!" packet (described below) that contains the materials to demonstrate the four activities described in the Guide.
- Presenter's Guide, includes one Try This! packet Order No. 04-001
Nanoworld "Try This Packets", Extra Copies
If you have multiple "Try This!" packets, your students can join in, carrying out the activities on their own or in group. The "Try This" packets, with accompanying mini activity booklet, can be purchased in sets of 10 or 30.
One "Try This!" Packet contains:
|• LED mini flashlight||• diffraction slide||• mini activity booklet|
|• magnet||• memory metal||• fiber optic cable|
The "Try This" booklet is a product of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Interdisciplinary Education Group (IEG) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was funded by the National Science Foundation, and is distributed by the Institute for Chemical Education.
- Set of 10 "Try This" Packets with mini Booklets Order No. 04-002
- Set of 30 "Try This" Packets with mini Booklets Order No. 04-002A
AP, Coll; D, I, CP
Use a visible laser and two-dimensional patterns on a 35-mm slide to model X-ray diffraction—that's what the Optical Transform Kit allows you to do. The kit includes: directions, patterns on 35-mm slides, and overhead transparency masters. A source of visible laser light is not included, but any laser pointer will work.
- Optical Transform Kit Booklet and 35-mm Slide Order No. 90-002.
Additional 35-mm slides with different patterns are available in sets of 10. Click on each slide to view a PDF of the slide's patterns.
- Set of 10 copies, Unit Cell Slide only Order No. 90-002S
- Set of 10 copies, Discovery Slide only Order No. 93-002S
- Set of 10 copies, VSEPR Slide only Order No. 93-002S
- Set of 10 copies, Plane Groups Slide only Order No. 93-002S
All Levels; D
Watch its colors change in sunlight! This snazzy white T-shirt has a black outline of the ICE structure on the front and a smiling sun on the back. Step into the sun, and the designs become bright shades of blue, purple, yellow and orange! UV active dyes in the shirt are colorless in room light, but become brightly colored in sunlight.
The shirts, made from 100% heavyweight cotton, are washable and come in both child and adult sizes: Child sizes: S, M, L. Adult sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL. Don't forget to indicate the size on the order form!
HS, AP, Coll; D, G, I, L
Polyhedral Model Kit building blocks. Click on the picture for a larger version.
Model of ice built with the Polyhedral Model Kit.
The Polyhedral Model Kit simplifies visualization of many complex chemical structures that involve polyhedral shapes. It can be used to make many structures that would commonly be discussed in science and engineering courses such as inorganic and solid-state chemistry, chemical engineering, geology, industrial chemistry, environmental science, materials science, soil science, and physics. The kit provides an alternative view of how structural components fit together that cannot be represented by ball-and-stick or space-filling models. Because structures are built with tetrahedral and octahedral units instead of individual atoms, models can be assembled quickly. Since students focus on units larger than atoms, they can more readily visualize and comprehend complicated structures.
The Polyhedral Model Kit nicely compliments the ICE Solid State Model Kit. Each kit gives different insights into molecular structures, an important pedagogical objective; together they can induce real comprehension into structure–property relationships. More information about the Polyhedral Model Kit and directions for assembling the more than 40 structures that can be built with it—such as NaCl, ZnS, H2O(s), rutile, perovskites, gibbsite, talc, muscovite, and quartz—can be found at http://mrsec.wisc.edu/Edetc/pmk/index.html.
The Polyhedral Model Kit was produced by University of Wisconsin–Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and is distributed by ICE.
- Polyhedral Model Kit Order No. 06-002
AP, Coll; D, G, I, L
It's hard to describe the structure of a crystal with a two-dimensional drawing. No need to because the Solid-State Model Kit allows you and your students to easily build, examine, and study structural models of metals, ionic compounds, and even superconductors. See instantly how atomic packing determines physical propertiesdensity, cleavage planes, conductivity directions.
Our tried and true kit is an excellent tool that has been used for nearly 20 years to present sphere packing, unit cells, coordination number, layering, radius ratios, and interpenetrating polyhedra. Radii of the spheres correspond with the radius ratio for cubic, octahedral, and tetrahedral coordination. The kit is designed for individual use, laboratory exercises, tutorials, and lectures. Using the detailed illustrated manual that comes with each kit, students can build structures one atom at a time by placing spheres on the appropriate rods as shown by a template. Each kit fits in a box that is 9" x 12" x 3.25"; the completed structures are approximately 4" x 4" x 6". Replacement parts are available.
Deluxe vs Student Versions. The kit comes in two versions, Deluxe and Student; the primary difference between the two versions is the number of spheres and rods, which ultimately impacts the number and size of structures that can be made. The Deluxe Version can be used to build more than 80 different molecular structures while the Student Version can be used to build more than 60 structures, most of the more common ones. Note that since two Student Kits (when combined) have four bases between them, they can build more structures simultaneously than one Deluxe Kit. However, one Deluxe Kit can be divided to build more than one structure at a time.
The Polyhedral Model Kit uses an alternative approach to seeing molecular structure.
Click the ICE structure to view an introduction to the Solid State Model Kit, a comparison of the two types of kits, and a list of the structures for which there are construction directions. Those structures that require one Deluxe Kit or two Student Kits are noted.
- Deluxe Version Solid State Model Kit Order No. 92-004
- Student Version Solid State Model Kit Order No. 94-006
- Solid State Model Kit Replacement Parts List
Yes, we have replacement parts!
- Has the manual for one of your ICE kits gone missing?
- Are some of the spheres from your Solid-State Model Kit AWOL? Are the templates all dog eared?
- Do you need a replacement 35-mm slide? Maybe you need additional 35-mm slides for hands-on classroom use?
- How about parts for the Nanocrystalline Solar Cell Kit?
- Looking for untreated Nitinol™ wire?
Many kits have replacement parts, individual or set of kits components available. Refer to our Replacement Parts List for pricing information. Or contact the ICE Office if you have questions or can't find a piece you're looking for. We handle such requests all the time and will be glad to "top up" your ICE materials.
All Levels; D
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