The inaugural episode of the PBS series Wired Science (which first aired last October) looked at chemistry sets past and present. In a visit to the Chemical Heritage Foundation, chemistry sets from the 1960s were targeted by gender: there were regular chemistry sets for boys, with lots of dangerous and exciting chemicals, and lab technician sets for girls. Apparently they didn't want to get girls' expectations up that they might be chemists themselves.
- The American Chemical Society web site has a whole section devoted to science for kids, with lots of suggested activities
- United Nuclear is a supplier of scientific equipment and supplies. They suggest some home chemistry experiments (and have a bit of a sense of humor about the danger). Their smoke bombs are perfect for your upcoming July 4th celebration.
- Society for Amateur Scientists has a supply store and a community site, where you can create a profile and communicate with other amateur scientists
There's discussion of the episode at SciAm Observations.
Image: Chemical & Engineering News article about chemistry memorabilia. It talks about the chemistry kits and chemical industry advertising from the 1950s and 1960s that featured nude women. I'm sure that made the women who were chemists feel welcome in their profession.
Tags: chemistry, science for kids, stereotypes