Chemistry Project Topics






1.1    Background to the Study

Education plays  a crucial role in human development as the transfer of knowledge which it involves aids in the acquisition of necessary skills needed for societal development. According to UNESCO(2020) education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, believes, habits and personal development.All these if acquired leads to sustainable development in every society. Being that a society which embraces education well survives but any which neglects education may suffer great set back. To this end, education seeks to offer first hand knowledge of human understanding about life and nature, which revolve scientifically around matter and the changes it undergoes because all living and non living things are products of matter.


Integration Of Practical Into Teaching Of Chemistry In Secondary Schools

Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behaviour of matter (Brown,2018).Gordon (2021)defined chemistry as the study of matter which consists of, what its properties are, and how it changes. Also, Usselman and Rocke(2022) defined chemistry as the science that deals with the properties, composition,and structure of substances, the transformations they undergo, and the energy that is released or absorbed during these properties.However, Wikipedia (2021) defined chemistry in education as the study of teaching and learning chemistry. Topics in chemistry education include understanding how students learn chemistry and determining the most efficient methods to teach chemistry.

Therefore, chemistry is a branch of science which explains matter and its constituents, elements, compounds, mixtures and how they are applied to nature and our daily activities. Chemistry as a pure science subject is in one way or another applicable to our everyday life. All living and non-living things are products of chemistry as they are made up of matter. The air we breathe, the food we ingest, the drugs we administer, the natural resources around us and the various raw materials are all products of chemistry as they involve constituents and mixtures of chemical elements.

Chemistry is one of the major core science subjects in senior secondary school curriculum which is aimed at enabling students to understand the concept and theories involved in chemistry, develop the skills needed to observe, analyse, interpret and solve problems involved in chemistry, and also create awareness of the societal, economic, environmental and technological involvement of chemistry (Wikipedia, 2018). In addition to this, chemicals areessential constituent of every existing thing. These chemicals are needed in the production and preservation of food, in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, electronic devices, and energy resources as all these are evident to the existence of chemistry in our everyday life.

Also, nuclear weapons, gunpowder in bullets, explosives, fertilisers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are all products of chemistry. Everything in our environment is formed of matter; therefore chemistry is of great significance and influential to human and societal development.

Meanwhile, in spite of the importance of chemistry to individual and societal developments, students up to the present time  do not possess the necessary skills which is needed to convert classroom instruction to real life situation. Evidence from WAEC result statistics between 2018,2019 and 2020, showed that out of a total of one hundred and fifteen thousand, three hundred and thirty-eight (115338) students who sat for chemistry examination  from one thousand, nine hundred and fifty-seven (1957) recognised secondary schools, only about hundred students (0.87%) scored between A1 to C6 and five thousand, six hundred and forty-seven(12.64%) students scored between D7 to E8. By implication it shows that about 86.49% failed chemistry(WAEC e-learning, 2021).

A review provided by the WAEC chief examiner in 2020,  on the weaknesses of students which  resulted in mass failure of chemistry within the specified years was identified to be problems arising from students’ inability to understand basic concepts in chemistry, apply theoretical approach to practical questions, solve calculation related questions, perform practical activities, identify laboratory apparatus, balance chemical equations, apply correct units to calculation questions, understand demands of questions before responding to them,deduce correct inferences from observations made from reactions, read and understand redox titration, write correct charge on ions, exhibit communication skill, write the correct formula of a compound, draw logical conclusions from observations made during tests, identify and name organic compounds, amongst many others.

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There are several factors which hinder smooth teaching and learning of chemistry. According to Hassan et al. (2020) causes and factors that influence students’ academic performance in chemistry include:method of learning which involves only the cognitive learning style, the various characteristics of the learnerand the effects this have on  students performance in chemistry. Likewise, Agoro (2018) ; Amoke (2020)  identified  poor methods of instruction, teacher attitude, laboratory inadequacy, poor science background and non availability of effective teaching and learning resources in classrooms  to be the factors responsible for poor performance of students in chemistry.

Teachers are the single most important factor in improving classroom interaction which decides the performance of the students in chemistry. The wide spread poor performance and the students’ negative attitude towards chemistry in secondary schools have been largely ascribed to teaching problems (Barineka, 2015). This is as a result of teacher incompetence or unqualified teachers who do not maximize the use of instructional method of teaching and cannot apply practical into teaching of chemistry as a result of unfamiliarity with ways to go about the practical class.

However, because scientific process skills like observation and prediction require “doing” , and doing entails practical action, the frequency of practical sessions is also an essential educational component. It is considered that teachers’ frequent use of the laboratory for practical instructions can help students learn scientific facts, laws and theories (Chikendu, 2022). To achieve the desired objective of effective time teaching of chemistry in secondary schools, operational chemistry laboratory equipment has to be provided bust it is saddening to note that most of our schools do not have functional laboratories (Okeke , 2015). With inadequate laboratory infrastructure, it is quite impossible for students to attain scientific concepts.

Poor Performance of students could also be attributed to a number of reasons including poor participation of students and poor level of exposure in the practical aspects of science especially chemistry (Amoke, 2020). In addition, students’ misconceptions about chemistry, their attitude towards the subject, increased rate of theoretical approach towards the subject, teachers’ frequent use of traditional lecture method and their inability to deliver effectively to the practical aspect of chemistry may be part of the factors limiting students’ performance in chemistry.

The traditional lecture method which is more teacher entered has caused students who are mere receptors of knowledge to show poor interest in chemistry as they avail themselves only for the purpose of getting information which will only be useful to them in assessments and examinations. Perhaps this method of teachingis often adopted by chemistry teachers as a result of poor time allocation to the subject due to its bulky nature which leads to the teachers’ eagerness to cover the specified syllables thereby limiting students’ understanding of the subject.

Amongst researchers who have defined practical work in their various fields of study are Ferreira and Morais (2020) who defined practical work as all teaching and learning activities in science in which the student is actively involved and that allow the mobilisation of science processes skills and scientific knowledge and that maybe materialised by paper and pencil activities or observing and, or manipulating materials.Kaur (2019) defined practical work in science as hands-on activities which support the development of practical skills, and help to shape students’ understanding of scientific concepts and phenomena.

Okorie and Ugwuanyi(2019) ; James et al. (2019) stated that practical activities in chemistry is composed of those learning experiences in which there are interactions with apparatus and instances of scientific principles or concepts. Practical work in chemistry can thus be defined as experimental activities which provides opportunities for students to understand better abstract concepts of chemistry thereby equipping them with the necessary skills needed to conduct scientific experiments through the appropriate use of scientific methods.

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The importance of practical work in science according to Himanshu(2020) include; (i) Students gets an opportunity  to actively participate in the learning process. (ii) Helps in acquiring scientific knowledge , attitude  and scientific  outlook which are the main objectives of teaching science. (iii) Students  learn how to handle and operate apparatus. (iv) Students learn many good habits like resourcefulness, initiative, cooperation and so on. (v) Validity of the concepts learned by the students can be tested by experimentation, which satisfies basic human desire of knowledge of what, how and why of things.

The adoption of demonstration method may help promote students’ understanding of the subject.Since it is a practical method of teaching, the teacher or instructor performs the practical one step at a time using precise, easy and understandable approaches which gives room for students to practise themselves at the same pace as the teacher by carrying out the teacher’s instruction and repeating what the teacher has done. Conducting practicals in teaching and learning have been noted for bridging the gap between theory and practise, it controls the rate of breakages and accidents as students watch the teacher do it before attempting to do the same and enable the teacher to teach manipulative an operational skill (Amoke, 2020).

Research conducted by Ojelade (2015)revealed that practical helps for better assimilation of chemistry and lack of equipped laboratory inhibit practical chemistry in schools. However Ejidike and Oyadara (2015) discovered that the practical works in chemistry are handled negligently or based on chemistry teachers’ convenience. This non performance of duty by teachers have changed students’ perception on chemistry as they see it as a difficult subject which leaves them with no other option but to memorise the theoretical concepts in preparation for examinations with little or no opportunity provided to perform laboratory experiments.Sotiriou et al. (2017) ; Shana and Abulibdeh (2020) also mentioned that traditional lecture method focuses solely on scientific terminology and allows students to see only what is happening during experiments. This restricts students’ connection of science (chemistry) to real life thereby adding no value to the society.

The extent of integration of practical in senior secondary schools have a lot of impact on chemistry students, the use of practicals in teaching should not be limited only to preparations for  external and internal examinations. Research has it that the  Nigeria education system has  hindered students’ acquisition of necessary process skills that make them useful to themselves the government and the society. Observations of students in this 21st century has it that the students’ acquisition of scientific competences and their performance in chemistry keeps deteriorating. This  turns out to affect their results in their O’ level certificate examinations and their ability to apply scientific knowledge in the outside world due to this reason the research is carried out to further investigate the extent to which practical are integrated into teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools.


Integration Of Practical Into Teaching Of Chemistry In Secondary Schools

1.2    Statement of the Problem

The study of chemistry has continued to suffer great setbacks. Evidence from chief examiners’ report on 2018, 2019, 2020 WAEC examination on practical chemistry has it that the students’ inability to draw logical conclusions from observations made during test and their application of theoretical approach to practical questions are amongst their major weaknesses. This is evident to their poor performance in chemistry in both internal and external examinations which is as a result of negligence to practicals.

Attempts have been made by other researchers to curb the issues of poor performance of students in chemistry but then their findings were limited to problems arising from incompetent teachers, inadequate instructional materials, poor laboratory and unconducive learning environment with negligence to the level of integration of practical approach to teaching of chemistry and the effects it has on students’ perception of the subject. Hence, the study seeks to investigate the extent of integration of practical into teaching of chemistry in secondary schools.



1.3    Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study is to investigate the extent of integration of practical into teaching of chemistry in secondary schools. Specifically,  the study seeks to;

  1. To determine the extent to which laboratory facilities are available in senior secondary schools in Ihiala L.G.A.
  2. To determine how frequently practicals classes are used in teaching chemistry.
  3. To determine the effect teachers’ competence have on the integration in teaching chemistry.


1.4  Significance of the Study

Theoretically, Kolbs’ theory of experiential learning defined experiential learning as the learning process whereby knowledge is created through the grasping and transformation of experience. This theory focuses on learning by doing or learning by experience as learners tend to understand and retain information better with the application of real life experience. However, the integration of practical or laboratory method into teaching of chemistry enables students to actively participate, experience scientific process and develop scientific skills which they can apply to the outside world in their daily activities rather than depending on theoretical approaches which constantly leads to memorization of chemistry concepts.

Practically, the findings from this research will be beneficial to;

  1. The government:

The research will help Anambra State government to know the level at which secondary schools effectively apply practical in teaching chemistry in order to develop means to ensure the adoption and effective use of practicals by working with curriculum planners and educational bodies.

  1. Curriculum designers:

Findings from this study will give curriculum designers information on how often practicals are used in teaching chemistry in secondary schools in IhialaL.G.A, Anambra State. This study will help them also to innovate the curriculum if needs be and further develop policies which will ensure the implementation of the use of practical approach to teaching chemistry by chemistry teachers and secondary schools in general.

  1. Teachers:

The knowledge from this study will enable teachers realise how important it is to equip their students with scientific skills so that they will be competent enough to handle laboratory materials on their own before and even after they have gone for external examinations.

  1. Schools:

The findings from this research will help secondary schools in Anambra state specifically in Ihiala L.G.A to realise their shortcomings in the implementation and application of practical in teaching chemistry and the need to either upgrade their laboratory, allocate more time to practical classes or employ more competent teachers in the field of chemistry education.

  1. Other researchers:

The study will provide other researchers with necessary information which will aid them in further research.


1.5    Scope of the Study

The study is on the extent of integration of practicals into teaching of chemistry in public senior secondary schools in Ihiala L.G.A, Anambra State.


Integration Of Practical Into Teaching Of Chemistry In Secondary Schools

1.6    Research Questions

The research questions stated to guide the study is meant to answer the following questions;

  1. What extent is laboratory facilities available in senior secondary schools in Ihiala L.G.A?
  2. What is the frequency of practical integration into teaching of chemistry?
  3. What effect does teacher competence have on the integration of practical into teaching of chemistry?


1.7    Research  Hypotheses

The following null hypothesis tested at .05 level of significance will guide the study:

HO1. Laboratory facilities are not available in senior secondary schools in Ihiala L.G.A

HO2. Practical classes are not frequently used in teaching chemistry.

HO3. Teachers are not competent enough to conduct chemistry practical.

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