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Dr. Christe Ann McMenomy

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Laboratory Requirements and Equipment

Lab Expectations for the Scholars Online Chemistry Course


LABS ARE NOT OPTIONAL. Completion of eighteeen specific labs is required for students taking this Course, including three labs covering safety and equipment handling.

All labs for credit must be completed by the close of the school year in June, unless you make special arrangements with the instructor.

Most lab assignments will be available from the web site at the start of the session. Labs will be associated with specific topics, and you are encouraged to complete the lab and send in the report during during the assignment period. You make make arrangements to complete some labs out of sequence if you have trouble obtaining equipment.

IMPORTANT! For safety reasons, both you and your parents must read the safety procedures before starting the lab sequence. Your parents must sign and send a copy of the lab permission letter to me before I can accept any lab reports from you for credit.

Lab Equipment

Students should be able to perform most labs with only some special equipment (thermometers, test tubes or beakers, heating plates) and some purchased chemicals. Most chemistry labs can be done with household materials and students performing these labs will generally find it less expensive to obtain materials on a lab by lab basis.

If you chose to do a more extensive lab set for AP preparation, and wish to purchase a kit rather than individual items, I highly recommend the CK01A Chemistry kit listed at The Home Scientist, LLC, which includes all the equipment and chemicals required for the advanced labs in the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, except for a good lab gram scale, which you will need to purchase separately.

Minimal Lab Equipment

This equipment list includes standard chemistry lab equipment for a minimal home chemistry lab that should allow you to complete at least one alternative for each lab; we will also be using more generally available household items for many of the labs. If you cannot afford the Chemistry Kit listed above from the Home Scientist, you may be able to complete sufficient labs for honors credit with the equipment listed below. Note that many pieces have perfectly adequate substitutes in items you probably have in your house already. You will need to calibrate appropriately all substitute equipment. You may use any convenient units so long as you are consistent and willing to do the math to convert to SI (metric) units when necessary.

Caution Sign When substituting household items for standard equipment, make certain that the substitute meets safety requirements: glass should be used instead of plastic, to avoid problems with acids or solvents, and any container used for heating should be rated to withstand the heat.

In addition to the equipment listed below, many labs will use common household items, such as paper, pens, rulers, cups or jars, food samples, cleaning solutions, plastic bags, etc. These will be listed in the equipment section of the individual labs.

Standard Chemistry Equipment list

Household chemicals

The following chemicals can be found around the house or purchased at your local grocery or drug store.

Chemical Formula Common name Source
Acetic acid CH3COOH White vinegar Grocery
Acetone CH3COCH3 Acetone Hardware (paints)
Acetyl salicylic acid ==== Aspirin Grocery
Aluminum Al Aluminum Foil Grocery
Aluminum sulfate Al2(SO4)3 Aluminum Alum Drug store
Ammonium chloride  NH4Cl Sal Ammoniac Drug store
Ammonium hydroxide NH4OH Ammonia Grocery
Boric acid H3Bo3 Boric acid eye wash Drug store
Calcium chloride CaCl2 Ice melt Hardware
Calcium carbonate CaCO3 Chalk Drug store
Dextrose C6H12O6 Corn syrup Grocery
Ethyl alcohol C2H5OH Ethyl alcohol Drug store
Hydrogen peroxide H2 O2 Peroxide Drug store (3% solution)
Isopropyl alcohol (CH3)2 CHOH Rubbing alcohol Drug store (70% or 99%)
Magnesium sulfate MgSO * 7H2O4 Epsom salts Drug store
Sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 Baking soda Grocery
Sodium carbonate Na2HCO3 Washing soda Grocery
Sodium chloride NaCl Table salt Grocery
Sodium hydroxide NaOH Lye Grocery
Sodium hypochlorate NaOCl Chlorine bleach Grocery
Sodium tetraborate Na2B4O7 Borax Grocery
Sucrose C12H22O11 Table sugar Grocery

Other useful supplies/considerations

Review this list frequently. If you have any questions about sources or substitutes for equipment, contact me before continuing.


Lab equipment may be borrowed from schools or purchased. Sometimes local college bookstores or medical schools carry dissection kits; staining kits and other supplies are often available from educational toy stores and science museums. You may also want to check my growing list of mail order suppliers.' ;