Lesson Plan: Catalysts Science

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe and explain the effect catalysts, including enzymes, have on the rate of chemical reactions.


Students will be able to

  • explain how catalysts increase the rate of reaction but are not themselves changed,
  • list and describe the characteristics of catalysts,
  • describe the biological catalysts known as enzymes,
  • describe catalysts as either positive or negative, with the ability to either speed up or slow down a reaction,
  • describe an experiment of hydrogen peroxide with manganese dioxide to illustrate the effect of a catalyst on the rate of reaction,
  • describe an experiment of hydrogen peroxide with sweet potato to illustrate the effect of enzymes working as biological catalysts,
  • give examples of catalysts used in everyday life such as catalytic converters in cars.


Students should already be familiar with

  • rate of reaction.


Students will not cover

  • other factors that affect the rate of reaction,
  • activation energy or rate graphs,
  • details on how enzymes work (e.g., active sites).

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