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Teens are growing fast, and their knowledge and interests grow even faster. Because of this, keeping teens interested in high school can be a challenge. However, through the beauty of experiments and science, anything is possible.
Chemistry is a particularly wonderful topic to get and keep your kids interested in learning. They will experience chemistry through most high school curriculums, and for those that find themselves interested, or consider themselves the “ultimate chemist”, we recommend the Thames and Kosmos Chem C3000.
However, traditional science kits aren’t for everyone. Therefore, we are happy to recommend the MEL Chemistry set as the best chemistry set for 13-16 year olds. It comes with everything your kids could ever want from chemistry kits and offers some more non-traditional ways of learning.
- Best Chemistry Set for Teens
- Best Overall – MEL Chemistry
- Best for Ultimate Chemists – Thames and Kosmos Chem C3000 V 2.0
- Best Budget Option – Thames and Kosmos Chem C500
- Best Chemistry Kits – KiwiCo Chemistry Pack
- Best Fire Experiment Kit – KiwiCo Fire Lab
- Best for Molecule Lovers – Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Set and App
- Best Experiment Kit – Creative Cosmetics Lab Science Kit
- Best for Hands-On Learning – Bath Bomb Science Kit
- Best Inexpensive Chemistry Subscription Box – MEL Chemistry Lite
- What to Consider When Buying a Chemistry Set for Teens
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Chemistry Set for Teens
Best Overall – MEL Chemistry
MEL Chemistry is our top pick because of just how much it offers. This subscription gives access to 2-3 experiments a month and starts you off with a free VR headset and starter kit the first month. At the time of publication, this subscription sells for $34.90 a month in the US.
The starter kit includes everything from beakers and a fuel burner to a smartphone stand to use the app more easily. You kids can have their very own chemistry lab right in your own home.
These chemistry sets have something for everybody because they are so interactive and grant hands-on experiences. They are particularly useful for giving teens a headstart on science topics that they are interested in or supplementing homeschooling. The VR headset allows for immersive explanations about the experiments that enhance learning.
If you’d like a more in-depth review of MEL Chemistry, check out our article here. This company also offers subscription kits for kids younger than 12 years (MEL Kids) and physics kits for kids 8 years and up.
Best for Ultimate Chemists – Thames and Kosmos Chem C3000 V 2.0
The Chem C3000 by Thames and Kosmos chem comes with everything that your teen could ever need to conduct cool and satisfying chemistry experiments. It is an expansion upon the Chem C2000, which won the Parents’ Choice Silver Award. Thus it is obvious how among science kits, this is one of the best. The materials that this kit includes are high quality and range from test tubes to chemicals.
Whether it be learning about reactions, electrochemistry, distillation, and more, this chemistry set will have your kids ready to learn. Kids will receive an introduction to the periodic table, physical chemistry, and molecular structures with this kit as well. It is a great introduction to high school chemistry and, with 103 pieces, looks not far off from a high school chemistry lab itself.
Best Budget Option – Thames and Kosmos Chem C500
The Chem C500 is an introductory chemistry kit that comes with 28 classic experiments and a 48-page full-color manual to give instructions on how to set up the experiments. Not only does the manual explain how-to, but it will go through why the results happened, so your kids get a full experience.
While perhaps not as advanced as the Chem C3000, your kids will still have the opportunity to learn about things such as the reactions between solids, liquids, and gases right from home, and at a great price! By conducting experiments, this set will build on your kids’ interest in science and teach them about the wonders and beauty of science that goes beyond the textbook standards.
If you’re looking for a middle ground between the Chemistry C500 and the Chem C3000, either the Chem C1000 or Chem C2000 will fit the bill. Both of these kits offer more than just an introduction to chemistry but are more cost-friendly than the Chem C3000. Additionally, these kits have previously won the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, respectively.
The Chem C1000 will investigate chemistry using sugar, honey, starch, eggs, calcium, and other substances that can be found in the kitchen. Meanwhile, the Chem C2000 will add in more topics such as organic and inorganic chemistry and experiments that require heat.
Best Chemistry Kits – KiwiCo Chemistry Pack
The KiwiCo Chemistry Pack is a great choice for teens that are looking for more than just a simple chemistry set. This pack comes with three different chemistry kits. This pack can make a home feel more like a high school chemistry lab because it offers such a wide variety of things to do.
Your kids will get to conduct three different labs: electrochemistry, glow, and vortex. The electrochemistry kit gives 2 experiments, while the glow and vortex kits have 3 and 4 experiments respectively. Each chemistry set comes with everyone your kids need to complete all the experiments.
The Glow Lab can be purchased separately and will cover topics such as fluorescence, phosphorescence and chemiluminescence. The striking colors and glow-in-the-dark features will keep even those uninterested in science engaged.
The Electrochemistry Lab can also be purchased separately. It will cover topics such as oxidation and electric potential. By putting these two topics together, your teen will create a clock that runs on merely saltwater and strips of metal. How cool is that?
Finally, the Vortex Lab can be found here as an individual kit. Through 4 different experiments, your teen will learn about solubility, diffusion, and oxidation-reduction. These are all topics that are particularly applicable to other sciences and create cool and interesting color changes throughout the experiments. No matter your age, you’ll find yourself interested in this kit.
For the even younger chemist siblings, you can get them learning about chemistry too, using KiwiCo’s Young Chemist 2-Pack, where they will work with lots of bright colors to learn about the scientific method and chemical solutions.
Best Fire Experiment Kit – KiwiCo Fire Lab
The Fire Lab is a fun set that will ignite teens interest in science. Unfortunately, it is only available as a singular kit and can’t be bundled with the Glow, Electrochemistry, or Vortex labs. Because this kit involves working with an open flame, it is not recommended for young kids under the age of 13.
The best chemistry sets for kids have something that is bound to keep your kids engaged with it. What is more engaging than a colorful flame lamp that your kid will make using this kit? This set has 7 different experiments that cover topics such as combustion, oxidation, and capillary action. The color flames will keep the adults and your kids captivated and excited to learn.
Best for Molecule Lovers – Happy Atoms Magnetic Molecular Modeling Set and App
Happy Atoms is designed to integrate the physical building of molecules with current technology in the app that works on Android, Kindle, and iOS devices. Using 50 different molecules, your teens can build 18 different molecules that the app will help classify and aid in learning.
This chemistry set is a great supplement to classroom learning about atoms and molecules. The app provides guided quests to discover new molecules and keep learning fun. Once the molecule has been built and scanned into the app, the app will provide information about the molecule like its name, properties, and usage. This is a great way for young scientists to learn about the small elements that make up the world around them.
There is also a smaller version of this kit, the Happy Atoms Magnetic Intro to Atoms Molecular Modeling Set which includes 17 atoms and the app.
Best Experiment Kit – Creative Cosmetics Lab Science Kit
The Creative Cosmetics Lab teaches your teen that science really does happen outside of the classroom. They will be able to conduct real science experiments to make cosmetics, soaps, salt scrubs, etc.
This set is particularly awesome because it comes with everything that you need to understand the science behind skincare. This includes everything from solutions to jars and stickers for labeling.
Kids will be able to go through the full-color manual to complete experiments using the kit, and even extra recipes using natural ingredients that they can find around the house. This will really open up their eyes to seeing the world as one large science kit.
Best for Hands-On Learning – Bath Bomb Science Kit
The Bath Bomb Science Kit will give a hands-on learning experience in chemistry. Science kits can sometimes seem monotonous and like the same thing over and over again, but this one gives a practical application that can be used to relax after some intense learning!
This 34 piece kit creates 8 bath bombs and includes all of the ingredients and supplies necessary. What’s so cool about this kit is that science can easily be shared. The bath bombs can be used by your teens, or even given as a gift. Even better, now your teen can understand and explain the science of bath bombs!
Best Inexpensive Chemistry Subscription Box – MEL Chemistry Lite
The MEL Chemistry Lite subscription box totals in at $19.90 a month at the time of this publication and comes with VR lessons and an experiment. It is the smaller version of the overall best chemistry set MEL Chemistry, since it comes with only one experiment a month and doesn’t start you out with the starter kit.
This is a perfect option for the budding scientist who already has a large repertoire of science gear, perhaps from other science kits, or if the sheer number of available experiments begins to get overwhelming. Any 12 year old and older is bound to love this kit.
What to Consider When Buying a Chemistry Set for Teens
The best chemistry sets will keep your kids entertained for hours on end. Not only is it important for the materials to last a long time, but it’s important for the learning to be able to continue across several days if you really want to get your money’s worth. Chemistry sets for kids often come with their own reagents and materials, but it’s even better if those materials can last across several experiments and self-guided exploration.
It can be frustrating to open up a new product, only to realize that it’s going to take hours worth of setup before you can even use the items. A worthwhile chemistry set will have a short start-up time, so there’s no extra frustrations, and your kids can start learning right out of the box! Even better, with a shorter start-up time, it’s easier to get started, and the barrier of entry into a new field gets shorter and shorter. This will encourage your teens to be more interested and willing to learn, even if it’s a new field!
What will keep your teen interested?
Teens are developing their own interests rapidly at this age. It is best to consider what kinds of interests your teen already has been looking at kits to get for them. The best chemistry sets will touch on topics that they already are interested in, such as electrochemistry, reactions, or even cosmetics. As mentioned earlier, it will also help to get a set that will grow with your kid and keep challenging them along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in a chemistry science kit?
A chemistry kit should grow with your teen, be engaging, and appeal to their interests. It also helps to get a kit that covers a wide variety of chemistry subjects. The more subjects covered, the more experiments there are likely to be, and the more likely the set will keep your teen engaged and willing to learn.
It will depend on what you and your teen are looking to get out of the set to determine the best one for you. If you are looking for something to supplement their learning in class, maybe get something with more real-world applications. Kits that will help them better understand the topics and help them with their homework? Look for a more class-based set.
What benefit do teens get from chemistry kits?
Teens get a chance to learn about the world around them in a hands-on way. Rather than just learning through a textbook, kids are able to run experiments and learn through hands-on experiences. This kind of learning is especially recommended to help students find or expand on their interests in science.
The best chemistry sets for teens will differ from the best chemistry sets for kids in that it will have more challenging experiments that smaller, less dexterous hands wouldn’t be able to handle. A good chemistry set for a teen may even involve working with fire or other chemicals. Since these experiments are more involved, they will keep up with your teen’s rapidly expanding knowledge and keep them interested.
Chemistry is an essential science that your kids will see again and again throughout their education. It is a part of all other sciences, whether it be biology, physics, or geology. Chemistry fills the world around us. It is involved in the smallest of molecular reactions to even creating things such as cheese and beverages.
As a fundamental science, learning more about chemistry will help your kids better understand the world around them, even the parts that they aren’t able to see with their eyes alone. Chemistry will teach your kids about problem-solving, the power of observation, and how to be objective about what they see in front of them.
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Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API