We all know that scoring superbly on internal assessments is a great way to boost our IB grades. But how do we get started on a lab report and, crucially, what should we write about? In general, keep in mind that for your Chemistry IA we want to measuring how changing one variable has an effect on another variable. If you’re struggling with a topic, consider some easily altered variables (temperature, surface area, concentration) and explore what effect changing these may have on your dependent variable, which should ideally be easy to measure (pH, gas produced, temperature, etc.). However, if you’re still feeling stuck then this week we’re going to take a look at 25 Chemistry IA topic ideas that we hope will spark some ideas for you!

NOTE: These topics are purely meant as inspiration and are not to be chosen blindly. Even though many of these topics led to high scores for some of our graduates in the past, it is important that you listen to the advice of your subject teacher before choosing any topic!

1, Calculating absolute zero using gas volume

2, Exploring the vitamin content of various healthy foodstuffs

3, Studying the dissolved oxygen content of a water body

4, Investigating the concentration of drugs within tablets (this could even be explored across different brands)

5, Using calorimetry to determine enthalpy changes/the enthalpy of neutralisation

6, Determining the activation energy of a reaction

7, Exploring conditions under which lipase can be denatured

8, Exploring the speed of various chemical reactions using a spectrometer

9, What is the activation energy needed to decompose a compound such as hydrogen peroxide?

10, Find the calcium content of different milk brands

11, Explore the optimal conditions to electroplate metals by considering a variety of external factors

12, Using thermal decomposition try to identify the type of salt present in some compound

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13, Explore and distinguish between methanol and ethanol using iodine and sodium hydroxide solutions

14, Use paper chromatography to separate pigments present in a tree leaf

15, Explore the effect of temperature on the strength of a ferromagnet

16, Describe the effect of varying temperature on the formation of rust on steel

17, Measure the amount of free caffeine in different coffee, tea, or other drink brands

18, Can different fruits be used in order to chelate heavy metals from polluted water sources?

19, An analysis into the different EDTA contents of a variety of shower cleaners

20, Speed of denaturation in various animal proteins using UV light

21, Synthesizing the sweetener Dulcin from Paracetamol

22, Considering and exploring the effectiveness of various brands of salts for snow removal

23, Using paper chromatography to analyse the various dyes present in different brands of jelly candy. 

24, Measuring the change in iron levels of avocados as they go through different ripening stages

25, Measuring the energy content of a packet of Cheetos

For getting the ball rolling after you’ve grabbed a great Chemistry IA topic, there are numerous great websites with tips.  But non-chemists scientist there please don’t feel left out! Check out our previous blog about generating some inspiration for your reports! And finally, if you do require any additional assistance with tackling your IA’s then our online private tuition services might be perfect for you…

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