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Like a Salt to a Flame

$9.95 - $53.10

Product Highlights

  • Generate excitement and understanding of atomic structure, emission spectroscopy, and quantum theory while observing the flames of 6 metal salts.
  • High school teacher-led, student-engaged demonstration with enough materials for 10 performances.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.

3 Product Options


This demonstration explores the phenomenon of flame tests used in identifying certain metals by burning their salt compounds in a flame and observing their characteristic colors. Students learn the fundamentals of emission spectroscopy as they observe the colorful flames of 6 metallic salts. This leads to understanding the concepts of electron excitation of atoms and quantum theory.

Time Requirement
Total, 25 minutes. Teacher prep, 10 minutes. Demonstration and discussion, 15 minutes.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts

Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Science and Engineering Practices
Developing and Using Models

Learning Objectives

  • Illustrate and explain the excitation of electrons.
  • Understand how excited electrons in an atom create specific colors.
  • Understand how unknown substances can be identified using emission spectroscopy.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should be familiar with the Bohr model of the atom, the ground state and excited state in reference to electrons in an atom, and the electromagnetic spectrum and ability to identify visible colors.




Questions & Answers