MYP 8 Science - Chemistry

MYP 8.5.3: Heating a sample of magnesium


Magnesium is a reactive metal from group 2 of the periodic table.

It is far too reactive to occur on its own in nature, but is a common element combined with other elements, for example in dolomite, which is a compound called magnesium carbonate.

Magnesium compounds are used in medicine as an anti-acid for alleviating the symptoms of indigestion and acid reflux (heartburn).


  • To measure the mass of a sample of magnesium before and after heating
  • To identify sources of error in the experiment (systematic, instrumental)
  • To understand the law of conservation of matter


The students could be asked to predict whether substances gain or lose mass when heated.

Why is a magic trick entertaining?

Can people disappear?

Can rabbits appear in top hats?

The law conservation of matter.

Student activity

The action of heat on magnesium in air.



Worksheet on heating magnesium

How to write up an experiment

Heating magnesium

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