DIY Hand Warmer

Project 7 out of 20

Create your own thermal warmer using chemical reactions.

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Have you ever wondered why your phone or other electronic devices that use a battery sometimes get hot after they’ve been used for a long time? You’ll find out how most chemical reactions affect temperature while you make your own DIY Hand Warmer. Sometimes, it’s obvious that a chemical reaction is changing the temperature, for example if something is burning, it’s quickly reacting with oxygen, and you feel the heat. Other times, it can be less obvious, like when rust forms on a piece of iron over a long time. In this DIY Hand Warmer, we’ll speed up the process of a chemical reaction, adding a fine Zinc powder to mineral filler in a bag. See what happens when you add water, attach a thermochromic sticker to the outside of the bag, and mix up the contents for a few minutes. Now you’re ready to stay warm on a cold day and you’ve conducted a chemical reaction that releases heat.

Milestones Unlocked

Exothermic vs. Endothermic Reactions

Introduction to Thermodynamics

Balancing Chemical Equations

Course Progression

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Lesson Preview

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just your chemical reactions? All chemical reactions produce a change in energy, but why and how can we observe this phenomenon in real life? Crack open this kit and start Lesson 4 to experiment with chemical reactions and thermodynamics. You’ll be able to tell the difference between exothermic and endothermic reactions and be able to identify them based on their reactivity graphs. You’ll also learn the basics of balancing chemical equations—an essential skill for any chemist. Unlock more chemistry skills and crucial concepts that will allow you to understand more of the world around you.

    Chemistry Course


    20 Experiments


    Ages 10+


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