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Lab-Aids™ Engineering and Design: Chemical Hand Warmers (Developed by SEPUP)

Science kit that allows students to undertake a design challenge to use specific set of materials to construct/test a chemical hand warmer.

Supplier:  Lab-Aids™ 493S

Catalog No. S27121

Item Discontinued This item has been discontinued and is no longer available. Please reach out to your sales representative.



  • Students undertake a design challenge to construct and test a hand warmer device that uses the thermal energy released from an iron exothermic reaction.
  • In Part One students initially observe a teacher demonstration then brainstorm and sketch several possible designs and choose one to build as a prototype and test. When testing their designs, students analyze and evaluate their results and brainstorm ideas for further modification. In Part 2, students redesign, construct, test, and evaluate hand warmers using the same reaction as in Part 1 but with an additional criterion introduced—students must consider how to control the start of the chemical reaction in their design modifications.
  • Students brainstorm new designs that will allow users to start the chemical reaction when they want to use the hand warmer. These designs may be redesigns of those developed in Part 1 or may be totally new. Students discuss designs and choose one to build as a prototype. Pairs of students exchange prototypes, test, and evaluate them, then think about what modifications can help optimize their designs.
  • Accommodates one class with 8 groups of 4 students.
  • Performance Expectations: MS-PS1-6, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas: MS-PS1.B, MS-ETS1.B, MS-ETS1.C, MS-PS3.A
  • Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter


  • 20 large sealable plastic bags
  • 10 small sealable plastic bags
  • 10 medium sealable plastic bags
  • 24 scoops (5 cc)
  • 8 scoops (30 cc)
  • 8 graduated cups (30 mL)
  • 8 immersion thermometers bottle of iron filings
  • 1 bottle of calcium chloride
  • 1 bottle of absorbent beads
  • 32 Student Worksheet and Guides
  • 1 Teacher's Guide
  • 1 Safety Data Sheet (SDS) packet


5 to 8
11 to 16


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