Demonstration Show

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2017 Topic: Demonstration for the Visually Impaired


Perform a live 3-minute demonstration show for a general high school audience that safely demonstrates an acid/base OR oxidation/reduction concept that typically relies on seeing a distinct color change.  This demonstration should be thoughtfully and innovatively reworked so they are now accessible for a visually impaired student.  Demonstrations, a key element of most high school chemistry classrooms, are used to gain interest in topic, elicit questions from observation and assist with conceptual understanding of chemistry principles.  Often visually impaired students are left out of all or parts of these experiences.  According to Family Connect, there are about 60,000 visually impaired school aged students in the US and 90% attend a regular school system(1).  Since Acid/Base and Oxidation/Reduction Chemistry reactions are often accompanied by demonstrations that rely on distinct color changes they require a bit of creativity and extra effort to make them more accessible to our visually impaired students.  

(1) Family Connect. (Accessed February 5,2017).



  • Completed by a team of 2-3 students.
  • Identify an acid/base or oxidation/reduction demonstration that your team would like to innovatively rework.   Build your understanding of the concepts, safety concerns  and visual limitations associated with your chosen demonstration.  Teams should specifically gather information about both the chemical concepts as well as the safety concerns and actions that should be taken when designing and conducting a demonstration.
  • Re-design the demonstration to make it more accessible for visually impaired students.  The goal of the demonstration is to teach a chemical principle(s).  Teams should focus on innovatively designing the experiment to make the learning opportunity available and purposeful for visually impaired audience members.
  • Solidify your understanding of the basic chemical principles that are involved with your demonstration to prepare for challenge questions from the judges on Event Day.
  • Judging will place an emphasis on innovation and the team's understanding of the chemical principles involved.
  • Prepare a written report which describes the procedure of the demonstration and how it will be used to teach the assigned topic.  The Demonstration Report must be received by the Director of the NJCO by the deadline indicated in the Requirement Overview.


  • Demonstrators and coaches must observe the ACS Guidelines for Safe Demonstrations .  It is important that competitors be properly supervised during the development and practice sessions that lead up to Event Day.  Any demonstration deemed unsafe by the judges based on the written paper write-up will not be allowed.
  • The main objective of the demonstration should be to correctly teach an audience the chemical principles involved.
  • The demonstration should have a clear goal and be creative in presentation.
  • The demonstration is limited to 3:00 minutes. Points will be deducted for going overtime.


Your written report (including chemicals used, formulas, diagrams, charts, etc.) may not exceed four pages - 12 pt., single spaced.  

Written Report Includes:
  1. List of educational objectives that describe what the presentation is to achieve.
  2. Describe specific aspects of the demonstration that were inaccessible to the visually impaired and how your team intends to address this limitation.
  3. Complete instructions and procedures for the safe method of doing the demonstration.   
  4. List of chemicals, supplies and other materials.
  5. Pertinent diagrams for set-ups
  6. Hazards and disposal methods.
  7. List of relevant references.
  • Do not include a cover page.
  • Identify your school, team (A or B), coach & names of students on top of the first page.
  • All sources of information must be identified clearly (written sources as well as a list of people who provided assistance).
  • Three (3) copies of the complete report (plus DVD/CD, if applicable) must be received by the Director of the NJCO by the deadline indicated in the Requirement Overview. The reports must be clearly labeled with the school name.  If applicable, also indicate, team A or B.


  • Safety, 10%
  • Paper, 10%
  • Effectiveness of the demonstration in addressing the learning objective, 20%
  • Creativity and Innovation with making the demonstration accessible for visually impaired, 20%
  • Knowledge of subject,  20%
  • Responses to judge's questions,  20%


On Event Day you will complete your demonstration presentation in Tiernan Lecture Hall 1.  Competitors should practice and prepare for the following:

  • The demonstration is limited to 3:00 minutes. Points will be deducted for going overtime.
  • A 3-minute question and answer period moderated by the head judge during which your understanding of the topic and chemical principles involved in the demonstration will be tested and verified.


  • A projection device will be provided at request.  Your team needs to bring appropriate cables to attach the projector to your computer.
  • No gas jets are available for use.  Typically teams bring in small (camp-stove sized) propane sources of fuel.
  • No fume hood is available.