Teen interested in chemistry? Are you a high school student who needs to augment your chemistry class? We have gathered some awesome chemistry resources for the 13- to 19-year-old crowd to get you started.

1. Video Chemistry Courses

As you probably already know, instructional videos are a wonderful way to learn a new subject or clarify concepts. Some teachers offer their entire lectures/courses online. Here are some of the best we have found:

Mr. Anderson at Bozeman Science has both Essentials Chemistry and AP Chemistry playlists.

Here is an example of one of his videos:

Crash Course Chemistry has a more “popular science” feel, but contains in depth information, as well as historical perspective. It is hosted by video legend Hank Green.

He starts this video sharing his ideas of how important chemistry is. Who wouldn’t want to study chemistry after watching it?

See a longer list of online chemistry videos at East Valley Chem Club.

2. Chemistry Books

Most young adults (what publishers call the reading category for teenagers) experience chemistry in the form of textbooks for their high school chemistry class.  There are, however, a number of popular science books written for adults about chemistry that may be appropriate and interesting for young adult readers as well.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

Kean takes the reader on a narrative romp through the periodic table, revealing human foibles along the way. He answers how were elements discovered and who discovered them. Why are certain elements useful and what properties does they have? Interesting tidbits, such as the use of gallium by practical jokers to create “disappearing spoons,” keeps the reader engaged and enthralled.

(This is a book written for adults. If you have any questions about the suitability of a nonfiction book written for adults, particularly for a young teen audience, you should probably read it yourself first.)

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 6, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780316051637
ISBN-13: 978-0316051637
ASIN: 0316051632

For more suggestions, see Science Books for Kids for Popular Chemistry Books for Young Adults.


3. General Chemistry Links

Chemmy Bear has tutorials, notes, animations and tons of other useful information, especially for AP students.

The Exploratorium has Science of Cooking.

Rader’s Chem4Kids explains many basic concepts in a particularly clear way.

Want to learn more about dyes? Try The Chemistry of Dyeing.

What’s That Stuff explains the chemistry of everyday items (from 2010 and earlier).

PhET has awesome chemistry simulations for some virtual chemistry

Compound Interest reveals chemistry via fascinating infographics. Expect to explore the chemistry everything from highlighters to onions.

Free Rice helps you memorize the chemical symbols for the elements.

4. To the Lab

Many colleges now require high school students to have completed what they call “wet labs,” meaning hands-on experiments rather than virtual ones. This requirement can be particularly tricky for homeschooled students, but there are resources available.

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) by Robert Bruce Thompson

If you have been looking for a chemistry lab, you have probably seen this book. It lays out a complete course of chemistry experiments a wet laboratory for the serious high school-aged student (definitely not for elementary or middle school ages). It is comprehensive in its coverage and the instructions are clearly written.

Big Hint:   Robert Bruce Thompson, the author, also offers high school science kits at The Home Scientist website. If you purchase a kit, it comes with a .pdf manual of the experiments you can perform with the kit.

Series: DIY Science
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (May 9, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0596514921
ISBN-13: 978-0596514921

Note:  Some of these experiments may require equipment that is not readily available for home situations. However, it is often possible to substitute. For example, a Pyrex measuring cup may be substituted for a beaker and will often have markings for metric measurements on one side.

Robert Farber 18 chemistry labs at Off the Shelf Chemistry

Flinn Scientific has supplies, resources and videos geared for educators, but could be useful for students as well.

PlayChem is a series of labs from Rutgers

Evan’s Regents Chemistry Corner has labs (as free .pdf)

If you want to do a chemistry science fair project, Science Buddies is the place to start.


We are celebrating chemistry this week. The Table of Contents page for Chemistry Week has related posts.


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