Gas station without pumps

2013 August 13

Lab kits for homeschooling chemistry

Filed under: home school — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 10:10
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In my previous post, I mentioned the Advanced Microchemistry kit, from Quality Science Labs.

Another kit that has been mentioned in e-mail is one that I actually looked at earlier and forgot to include in yesterday’s post: the CK01 kit from the Home Scientist.  Instead of 16 labs, it is set up for 39 labs, and it costs only $174 instead of $220.  They also provide the lab manual on-line for free, so it is easy to see what the labs are and whether they are worthwhile.  They also do one other very clever marketing ploy—they sell the same kit for $5 more including a second set of splash goggles for the parent.  Since any sensible home school teacher will be nearby while the labs are being done, including a second set of goggles is just good sense.

Let me compare the 2 kits side-by-side:

Quality Science Labs,
Advanced Microchem
The Home Scientist,
acetic acid 0.1M acetic acid 6M
ammonia 6M
 ascorbic acid ascorbic acid (500mg tablets)
barium nitrate 0.1M
Bromothymol blue indicator Bromothymol blue 0.1%
calcium nitrate 0.1M calcium nitrate 0.1M
charcoal, activated
cobalt chloride moisture test paper (reusable)
copper copper
copper nitrate 0.1M
copper (II) sulfate 1M
distilled water
food coloring 0.1M
hydrochloric acid 0.1M hydrochloric acid 6M
iodine/iodide solution, 0.1M
iron (II) sulfate, 0.1M
iron (III) chloride, 0.1M
lead (II) acetate, 0.1M
magnesium sulfate magnesium sulfate
methyl orange, 0.1%
methyl red, 0.02%
nickel nitrate, 0.1M
oxalic acid, 0.5M
palmitic acid
pH paper wide-range pH paper
phenolphthalein paper phenolphthalein 0.5%
phosphoric acid, 1M
potassium bromide, 0.1M
potassium dichromate, 0.1M
potassium ferricyanide, 0.1M
potassium hydroxide, 0.1M
potassium iodide, 0.1M potassium iodide, 0.1M
potassium permanganate, 0.01M potassium permanganate, 0.1M
salicylic acid
sodium acetate, 0.1M
sodium bicarbonate (650mg tablet)
sodium bisulfite, 1M
sodium borate, 0.1% wrt boron
sodium carbonate, 1M
sodium ferrocyanide, 0.1M
sodium hydroxide, 0.1M sodium hydroxide, 6M
sodium salicylate, 220 ppm wrt salicylate
sodium sulfate, 0.1M
sodium sulfide, 0.1M
sodium oxalate, 0.1M
sodium thiosulfate 1.0M sodium thiosulfate 1.0M
starch indicator solution
sulfuric acid, 1M
thymol blue, 0.04%
turmeric reagent
vegetable oil
zinc nitrate, 0.1M
alligator clips 2 alligator clip leads
9v battery 9v battery
battery adaptor (9v)
15mL plastic beaker
30mL plastic beaker
(2) 50mL plastic beaker
(2) 100mL plastic beaker
150mL plastic beaker
50mL glass beaker
250mL borosilicate glass beaker
(6) 15mL centrifuge tubes
(6) 50mL centrifuge tubes
chromatography paper chromatography paper
coffee filters
conductivity tester
cotton swabs cotton balls and swabs
3 oz cup
8 oz foam cup, with cover
9.5oz plastic cup
digital scale
glass rod 15cm stirring rod
safety goggles safety goggles
10mL graduated cylinder 10mL graduated cylinder (plastic)
100mL graduated cylinder (plastic)
index card
1cc measuring spoon
paraffin wax
felt tip pen purple Sharpie felt-tip pen
graduated pipette graduated pipettes
thin stem pipette
mini pipette
24-well plate 24-well plate
96-well plate 96-well plate
rubber bands
6″/150mm ruler
steel wool
stop watch
spoon/spatulas stainless steel spoon/spatula
stoppers for test tubes
syringe 10mL oral, with cap
test tube 12×75mm (6) test tubes 16×100mm>
test tube brush
test tube clamp
test tube rack
digital thermometer
partial immersion thermometer
toothpicks wood splints
washing bottle
wire gauze wire gauze

The Quality Science Labs kit has some more expensive items (the digital scale, the multimeter, and the digital thermometer), but also includes more common household stuff and fewer chemicals. I already have a multimeter (better than what they provide), and a digital scale that measures to 0.01g is only $10. I’m not sure a digital thermometer is any better than the alcohol-based thermometers I already have (or that come in the other kit). If we need higher precision or to record over a time period, I already know how to set up a thermistor with the Arduino data logger.  The Home Scientist kit has somewhat more dangerous chemicals (higher concentrations of the strong acids and bases, for example).

Right now, it looks like the CK01 kit is the better buy for us, and I can read the manual to see if the experiments align with the new AP chem curriculum.

Neither kit provides a heat source, so we’ll either use the gas stove or buy a small alcohol heater to work outside.  We also need to get gloves, and various household supplies (like distilled water, distilled vinegar, …).  Both kits have a list of needed supplies—the list for the CK01 kit is much longer, probably because it is designed for twice as many labs.

Based on this side-by-side comparison, I think I’m more likely to get the CK01 kit.  It seems to have more of the stuff I’d need and less of the stuff that I already have.  I also like the marketing better (full details of the kit and the lab manual free on the web site).


1 Comment »

  1. […] Lab kits for homeschooling chemistry ( […]

    Pingback by My Most Significant Mistakes in Acid- Base (Indicator) Titration | dmluffyblog — 2013 September 24 @ 06:53 | Reply

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