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Flammable Ice

Source Institutions

    Science Museum (London)

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Flammable Ice

What's cooler than being cool? Setting ice on fire! In this demonstration, educators can amaze learners by setting ice on fire. Through this activity, learners can explore the properties of everyday materials and observe how these materials can change states to produce gas. Safety note: this activity is not suitable for learners to do themselves and should only be conducted by an experienced educator in a well ventilated lab area. Before doing this demonstration, educators should read the "Practicalities" section.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Shallow heatproof dish
  • Ice
  • 8 pieces of calcium carbide (approximately 2cm long)
  • Heatproof tile
  • Tweezers
  • Splint
  • Bucket of sand
  • Safety screen
  • Lab coat
  • Goggles


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Science Museum,


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