Glow Fast, Glow Slow: Alter the Rate of a Reaction!

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
Learners investigate one factor affecting reaction rates: temperature. In a darkened room, two identical lightsticks are placed in water -- one in hot water and one in cold water. The lightstick in the hot water glows brighter than the lightstick in the cold water since the light-producing reaction is faster in hot water. This activity, located on page 2 of the PDF, is one of three activities in the Take Home guide for the Chemical Reactions unit in OMSI's Chemistry Lab. Also included on the PDF are two additional activities: Cloudy Globs and Gas Production.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • two clear glasses or jars
  • water, warm and cold
  • ice
  • two identical lightsticks
  • a dark room or area


  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Energy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation