An Introduction to Bunsen Burner Lab Activity - Teaching Strategies

Bunsen Burner Lab Activity Life Science

Free NGSS Life Science Activities

Teaching your students about Bunsen Burners through a Bunsen Burner lab activity can be fun and informative for everyone involved. With the right materials and safety protocols, you can provide your students with an engaging experience that will help them build understanding of proper laboratory use.

Prepare the Lab Area and Materials

Before your students start their Bunsen Burner lab activity, you need to make sure that all necessary materials are easily accessible and organized. Gather Beakers, Gas regulators, rubber tubing and the bunsen burners and arrange the lab area in a way that's comfortable for everyone. Make sure all safety protocols are in place and that your students have been briefed on proper laboratory procedures.

Introduction & Description of the Bunsen Burner Lab Activity Steps

This Lab Activity is designed to help students learn about Bunsen Burners. Before starting the activity, make sure that all necessary materials are easily accessible and organized. In this Lab Activity, we provide you with all the necessary materials and step-by-step instructions to create a successful Bunsen Burner lab experience for your students.

Set Up the Bunsen Burner Lab Activity and Associated Parts

Before beginning the Bunsen Burner lab activity, you must ensure that the Bunsen Burner is set up properly. Place the Bunsen Burner in an open area on your lab bench and make sure it sits securely. Connect the hose from the gas cylinder to the burner valve then connect the rubber tube from the outlet valve on the gas cylinder to the inlet valve of the burner. Finally, make sure that all other materials are readily available for use during this lab exercise.

Experimentation with Fire Color, Visible Flame Height, & Heat Application

Next, encourage students to explore the Bunsen Burners by tweaking the air and gas settings. By doing this, they can observe how their adjustment impacts the fire color the of the visible flame height and heat application. Ask questions such as “What does adjusting the air do?” or “How does increasing the gas affect the flame?” This will create an opportunity for thoughtful discussion of what they have experienced during their experimentations.

Post-Activity Review & Further Discussions About Bunsen Burners & Lab Safety

After completing the activity, it is important that you engage your students in a thorough post-activity review. Use open-ended questions to have them explain their learning and summarize what they have learned about working with Bunsen Burners. Additionally, further discuss laboratory safety including attire as well as precautions to take when using glassware or flammable substances.

Exploring the Bunsen Burner

A Bunsen burner is a kind of gas burner used as laboratory equipment. This burner named after Robert Bunsen produces a single open gas flame that is very stable and is used for various laboratory processes such as heating chemicals, causing chemical reactions, sterilizing tools, and starting combustion. It uses a gas which can be natural gas or a liquefied petroleum gas such as propane, butane, or a mixture.

The Bunsen burner consists of a metal tube on a based with a gas inlet at the lower end of the tube which may have an adjusting valve. It has openings in the sides of the tube which can be regulated by a collar to allow as much air as desired. The mixture of air and gas is forced by gas pressure to the top of the barrel, where  it is ignited with a match or flame striker. A Bunsen burner burns with a pale blue flame when the remaining gas is completely oxidized by the surrounding air. In this activity, you will be able to manipulate a Bunsen burner and get to know the different parts that make it work. Once you are familiar with the different parts of a Bunsen burner, you will then practice how to light it as well as set up yellow and blue Bunsen flame.

Laboratory Procedures Learning Objectives:

At the end of this laboratory activity, students are expected to:

  • Identify the major parts of a Bunsen burner.
  • Follow the correct procedure to light a Bunsen burner.
  • Set up blue and yellow Bunsen flame.

Bunsen Burner Lab Activity Pre-lab Questions:

  1. Label the parts of the Bunsen burner.

Label the Parts of this Bunsen Burner, Bunsen Burner Lab Activity, Lab Procedures, Laboratory Procedures

  1. Describe the function of each part.
    • Barrel
    • Gas valve
    • Collar
    • Gas inlet
    • Base

Here are the Files Downloadable Files for the Laboratory Procedures Activity

Laboratory Procedures Lab Materials:


  • Bunsen burner
  • heat-proof mat
  • flame striker

Safety Alert! Always wear your safety googles while doing this activity. If you have long hair, tie it back. Do not wear loose long sleeves. Most importantly, follow the instructions of the teacher. Do not do anything unless you are told to do so.

Bunsen Burner Lab Activity Procedure:

  1. Get a Bunsen burner for your group. Examine its parts. Make sure not to touch the gas tap while you are examining the Bunsen burner.
  2. Briefly discuss with your group mates the different parts of the Bunsen burner and describe each.
  3. Watch your teacher’s demonstration on how to light a Bunsen burner. Observe carefully how he/she operates the Bunsen burner.
  4. Together with your group mates, review the steps in lighting a Bunsen burner.
    • Clear off the lab table. Remove all flammable and combustible materials from the work area.
    • Connect rubber tubing to the lab burner and gas valve. Check for holes or cracks in the tubing.
    • Close or partially close the air vents on the burner to make it easier to light.
    • Get a striker (flint lighter).
    • Turn on the gas.
    • Bring the flint lighter alongside the barrel of the burner and raise it slowly over the edge of the barrel from the side. Hold it slightly off center of the barrel of the burner and a few inches above the tip.
    • Strike the flint lighter to create a spark over the gas coming out of the burner.
    • A lit Bunsen burner with closed or partially closed air vents gives a yellow safety flame. The soft yellow flame should never be used to heat anything, but it is easier to light and observe this flame.
    • Adjust the air supply by turning the metal collar to get the tight, bright, blue, cone-shaped flame.
    • Once the Bunsen burner is lit, never leave it unattended.
  5. Once you are familiar with the steps in lighting a Bunsen burner, take turns in lighting the Bunsen burner assigned to your group. For every turn, set up yellow and blue flame.

Discuss the following with your students about the Bunsen Burner Lab Activity:

  1. Why should you clear off the lab table before lighting the Bunsen burner?
  2. What do you think will happen if the air events on the burner are widely opened?
  3. Why should you put the flint lighter slightly off center the barrel before striking it?
  4. How can you set up a Bunsen blue flame?
  5. What is the role of the collar in setting up Bunsen yellow or blue flame?

Here is your Free Content on Laboratory Procedures

Laboratory Procedures - PDFs

Laboratory Procedures Worksheets - Word Docs & PowerPoints

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