Chemical Reactions

Bill is practically exploding with excitement about the “Chemical Reactions” show.

Every single thing around you is made of chemicals. Plants, rocks, computers, food, and you are bunches of chemicals. All chemicals are built with elements, the 109 different symbols on the Periodic Table. Different combinations of elements make different chemicals.

Lots of times, chemicals just sit around, but sometimes, when certain chemicals get together, they react. Chemical reactions take the starting chemicals and end up with new chemicals. Sometimes chemical reactions are hard to miss. Explosions, burning, color changes, and gas are all good signs that a reaction is going on. Some chemical reactions are less obvious – changes in temperature, a different smell, or differences in taste are clues that a chemical reaction is happening. The key is to figure out if you could get back the same chemicals you put in. If the answer is no, you’ve got a chemical reaction on your hands. Just be sure to wash it off!

With Bill Nye the Science Guy, chemical reactions are a blast.

The Big Idea

  • Everything is made of chemicals.
  • Chemical reactions occur when chemicals combine to form new substances.

Did You Know That?

  • The chemicals inside fireworks react with heat to make bright, colorful light?
  • Baking a cake is a chemical reaction? You can’t take a baked cake and turn it into batter.
  • TNT (trinitrotoluene) is a chemical that spontaneously explodes?

Books of Science!

  • “Eyewitness Science: Chemistry” by Dr. Ann Newmark. Published by Dorling Kindersley, 1993.
  • “Chemistry” by Derek Walters. Published by Franklin Watts, 1982.