Chemistry Sets Review

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What Makes a Good Chemistry Set?

If you need a gift for a special youngster who has shown an interest in science, one of the best choices would be an age-appropriate chemistry set. There are kits for young students that are reasonably safe, although adults should probably always be around to supervise experiments, and you also can buy great chemistry sets with professional quality supplies and materials for an older student.

The best set in our product list, the CHEM C3000, is designed essentially for high school students who have a reasonably solid knowledge of science already and are mature enough to handle some fairly risky substances in a safe fashion. The other two top sets in our lineup are the CHEM C2000 and CHEM C1000, which move up progressively in terms of educational sophistication and the numbers of experiments available within each kit. All are made by the outstanding firm Thames & Kosmos, one of the most respected manufacturers of chemistry sets and other educational items. To find out more regarding chemistry kits for kids, take a look at our articles on chemistry sets.

To enrich your child's curiosity about how things interact, how things work and how to properly conduct an experiment using the scientific method and correct step-by-step procedures, a chemistry set with excellent written instructions will guide your student through experiments that can be enjoyable as well as educational.

Chemistry Sets: What to Look For

For each of the sets we reviewed, we examined several features including experiments, supplies, chemicals and learning materials. When examining the products in our lineup, be sure to note the age group for each kit. Some of the lower-ranked kits might not offer the same comprehensiveness of our top-rated kits, but they would be more appropriate for beginners.

Experiments
First, we compared each kit’s list of experiments. The kits on our survey cover a wide variety of experiment types, including many that aren’t listed on our matrix. Some of the most common types of experiments involve acid/base reactions, crystals, chemical identification, element properties and states of matter.

Supplies
The next major component we evaluated for each set was its supplies. Our survey includes many common lab items like beakers, measuring spoons/cups, safety glasses, pipettes and more. Some of the more specialized kits on our list have custom supplies that are not standard lab equipment but are designed precisely for particular experiments.

Chemicals
Next, we examined each kit’s chemicals. This section doesn’t actually list the chemicals included with each kit, but whether the kit includes all required chemicals to perform the listed experiments. Many kits come with some chemicals but also require you to purchase some chemicals (both household and specialty) to complete or repeat certain experiments. Some kits don’t include chemicals at all and you have to provide your own from around the house. It’s likely that for these kits there will be at least a few things that require a trip to the grocery or hardware store. For specialty chemicals, we recommend ordering from Best Science Supplies.

Learning Materials
Without learning materials, these sets wouldn’t provide much more than mysterious concoctions. In order to really learn from a chemistry experiment, you have to perform it correctly and understand the underlying concepts. Every kit on our survey comes with an experiment procedure manual and some explanation of the scientific principles involved in each test. Other kits take it a step further and provide more detailed background information about each experiment, and in some cases, general scientific background information as well.

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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
CHEM C3000 CHEM C2000 CHEM C1000 Elements of Science Kids First Chemistry Set CHEM C500 Mind Blowing Science Genetics & DNA Chemistry 60 Milestones in Science
CHEM C3000 CHEM C2000 CHEM C1000 Elements of Science Kids First Chemistry Set CHEM C500 Mind Blowing Science Genetics & DNA Chemistry 60 Milestones in Science
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Lowest Price
Visit CHEM C3000
$259.95
Visit CHEM C2000
$149.00
Visit CHEM C1000
$64.99
Visit Elements of Science
$60.95
Visit Kids First Chemistry Set
$62.38
Visit CHEM C500
$28.43
Visit Mind Blowing Science
$13.70
Visit Genetics & DNA
$32.37
Visit Chemistry 60
$23.83
Visit Milestones in Science
$59.90
Ratings
9.00
8.58
7.25
6.75
6.63
6.25
6.20
5.50
5.38
5.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
7.50
7.50
8.75
10.00
7.50
7.50
7.50
7.50
6.25
7.50
7.50
5.00
6.88
7.50
6.88
6.88
5.00
7.50
6.25
6.25
5.00
7.50
5.00
6.25
6.88
7.50
5.00
5.00
5.00
7.50
6.25
3.75
3.75
7.50
6.25
3.75
2.50
7.50
 
Age Levels
Recommended Ages 12+ 11+ 10+ 10+ 8+ 8-12 4-8 10+ 8+ 10-12
Experiments
Total Experiments 360 251 75 100 25 30+ 8+ 20 60 100
Acids and Bases
 
 
 
Atoms and Molecules
   
   
Chemical Identification
 
  
 
Chromatography
 
  
 
Combustion
 
    
Crystals
  
 
 
 
Edible
         
Electricity
 
   
Elements
  
Food Science
  
  
  
Magic Tricks
  
   
Mixtures, Colloids and Solutions
   
  
 
States of Matter
 
  
Water/Air/Soil Tests
    
Organic Chemistry
    
 
Polymers
         
Reaction Time
  
    
 
Environmental  
 
 
Supplies
Burner
       
Dishes
   
  
Tools
 
 
Funnel
 
   
 
Glass Equipment
one glass jar
test tubes     
Measuring Cups
 
 
 
Measuring Spoons
 
 
 
 
pH/Litmus Paper
  
     
Pipettes
 
  
Plastic Equipment
 
 
Safety Glasses
 
 
 
Test Tubes
 
 
Chemicals
Includes Household Chemicals
  
  
Includes Specialty Chemicals
 
  
Requires Household Chemicals (Not Included)
 
 
 
Requires Specialty Chemicals (Not Included)
       
Sufficient Supply for Repeating Experiments
  
  
Learning Materials
Detailed Experiment Explanations
Experiment Procedure Manual
Manufacturer Phone
Manufacturer Website