Kareena’s chemistry – episode 11: chemistry in sport


FunKids radio, in collaboration with the RSC, has produced a set of short chemistry snippets introducing children to chemistry- the what, why and how.

Type of Activity

group work, working independently



Age Group


Kareena learns about all the chemistry relevant to sport, particularly in the context of sports clothing.


If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Carrying out comparative and fair tests.
    • Finding things out from a wide range of secondary sources of information.
  • Using a range of scientific equipment to take accurate and precise measurements or readings, with repeat readings where necessary. 
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated based on their data and observations.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties.
  • Give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That materials have different properties making them suitable for different roles.
  • The idea of ‘best fit’ – that while many materials can be used for the same job, typically one material will be chosen over others. 

Suggested activity use

This activity could be used as a stimulus for children investigating the properties of materials and their respective uses. Investigations could be carried out around looking at the uses of materials for particular items of sport clothing and equipment. Alternatively, children could investigate why materials were chosen for other roles.

Practical considerations

If carrying out an investigation, such as, ‘how heavy, stretchy or cool some materials are compared with others?’ a wide range of materials will be required for children to observe and sort.

Also, some of the more advance vocabulary, such as ‘atom’, ‘molecule’, ‘composite’ and ‘carbon fibre’, may need some additional explanation.