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Chemistry Detectives:   Mystery Substances




I entered the silent, deserted room, my eyes blinking and watering in the cloudy, foggy atmosphere.  As the strange white fog slowly cleared, faint white footprints appeared across the dark grey carpet.  Where did they come from and what do they mean? And what are those powdery fingerprints on the TV screen?

Join the Chemistry Detectives to investigate a range of mystery substances and help solve ‘The Case of the White Footprints’!

In this programme, we will use detective skills to examine a range of mystery substances. Undertaking a range of investigations such as heating, cooling, melting, solubility and reactions to acid, we will identify and describe the distinctive properties of the mystery substances. We will begin by learning to ask scientific questions, to hypothesise, handle laboratory style equipment and structure and write up investigations.  

Students will have the opportunity to follow their own interests in non-toxic chemistry and conduct a practical research project of their choosing.


Learning Outcomes


  • Work collaboratively to solve problems and prove challenging hypothesises
  • Observe, measure and record chemical and physical characteristics of materials
  • Explore ways in which scientists collaborate and support their ideas with evidence
  • Build on prior results and experience, thereby developing team knowledge
  • Group substances by their individual properties
  • Use a range of scientific symbols, conventions and vocabulary
  • Develop active listening skills and ask appropriate questions
  • Clearly communicate thoughts and ideas  


3 hours per week for 8 weeks, in Term 2

Target Age

9 - 13 year olds


This programme is part of Science and Maths Thursdays and runs from 9-12:30 pm each week (with a 30 minute brain gym and eating break)