Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy needed to start a chemical reaction. Many chemical reactions don’t need a lot of energy to react. A classic example when baking soda mixes with vinegar. The heat energy that is in the environment is enough to start this chemical reaction. Other chemical reactions need a higher amount of energy. A match lighting is one example. When a match strikes, the friction produces heat energy. This heat energy is the activation energy that starts the chemical reaction. In the following demo three matches are tied together with thread and placed into a flask that is covered with a piece of aluminum foil. The bottom part of the matches touches the bottom of the flask. The flask is placed on a hot plate on the high setting. The hot plate provides the energy to start the chemical reaction between the matches and oxygen that is in the flask.