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high school chemistry

DAVID LICATA's picture

Stoichiometry Fireworks Lab Quiz

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 21:39 -- DAVID LICATA
Ignition of sugar and potassium chlorate produces purple flames and sparks.

Given the amount of one reactant, students must use stoichiometry to find the ideal amount of the second reagent to use to create purple fireworks. The teacher ignites each groups' fireworks. Ideal mixture create little or no ash. Student assignment sheet with directions (and different initial amounts) plus teacher information and sample answers are included. This is an exciting and engaging activity that can be used as a stoichiometry quiz.

Time required: 

With one balance per table (two groups), the calculations should take about 10 minutes, the measures another 10 minutes. Ideally, students should be prepared to deliver their mixture to the teacher within 20 minutes. In practice, many students will take longer, particularly if the formula for potassium chlorate is not given and students are not familiar enough with ionic nomenclature.

The teacher will need about one minute per group to announce the group's mixture, ignite it, and wait for student responses. So if there are 15 groups, the teacher should allow about 15 minutes to ignite all the mixtures.

DAVID LICATA's picture

Mass of a Reaction Product

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:41 -- DAVID LICATA
Sodium carbonate reacts with hydrochloric acid producing bubbles

Students combine sodium carbonate and hydrochloric acid generating carbon dioxide gas which is allowed to escape. They measure the actual yield of carbon dioxide produced (missing mass), calculate the theoretical yield using stoichiometry, and then the percent yield. Students understand that 100% yield is the most appropriate answer (based on the Law of Conservation of Mass), so after considering the meaning of significant figures and the uncertainty of their measurements they are asked to decide if they did (or did not) get an answer that might indicate the validity of the Law.

Time required: 

One 50-minute period to perform the lab. One additional period to perform the calculations (optional). Often more able students will have time to begin some calculations at the end of the lab experiment.

Deanna Cullen's picture

Photoelectron Spectroscopy Special Issue Article

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 17:58 -- Deanna Cullen

The new AP Chemistry curriculum is in the second year of use. Photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) is a topic that generated much discussion because it is an addition to the curriculum. Jamie Benigna of Michigan teaches AP Chemistry, is an AP reader and recently wrote an article about PES for the Journal of Chemistry Education Special Issue. The article discusses the rationale for including PES in the course, explains some background of PES and provides strategies for including PES in your own course. This article is offered as a free preview of the AP Special Issue. 

Shelly Belleau's picture

Scientific Practices Post #2: Conclusions from Evidence

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:21 -- Shelly Belleau

In this post I would like us to consider the ways teachers can help support and scaffold the process of making claims and drawing conclusions on the basis of evidence.  Not only is this grounded in the scientific practices addressed in the Next Generation Science Standards (a centralized them

Erica Posthuma-Adams's picture

Simple Activities to Integrate Particle-Level Diagrams

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 08:34 -- Erica Posthuma-Adams

There have been many conversations within the Chemistry Education community surrounding the revisions to the AP curriculum. Twitter has been buzzing with instructors debating how to implement the changes, conferences and workshops have participants deconstructing the data from last year’s exam, and classroom teachers are working diligently to prepare their students for this year’s test.

One way the College Board has tried to shift the AP curriculum away from algorithmic problem solving and toward more meaningful conceptual understanding is through the use of particle diagrams.

Lowell Thomson's picture

Utilizing Google Forms For Feedback and Data Gathering for Instructional Videos in a Blended Classroom

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:22 -- Lowell Thomson

In my previous post, I shared the general formatting of the videos I create for my IB Chemistry course within which I utilize the flipped model. Within that blog post, I mentioned that I use Google Forms to collect data about the videos, and I'd like to offer some thoughts on this as a tool with many uses.

Build a Boat Collaboration

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 18:05 -- Kristin Gregory
boat white boarding

I want to learn more about the modeling approach to teaching chemistry, but have not yet found the time to attend training. It seems like modeling would be the next logical step after the flipped classroom method of instruction that I have used for the last four years. My goal in using modeling is to continue to move from a teacher centered classroom to an environment wherein students take on true ownership of their own learning. As luck would have it, I met some experienced modelers at a Biennial Conference on Chemical Education 2014 (BCCE 2014) Birds-of-a-Feather lunchtime chat and got to pick the brain of Erica Posthuma-Adams, and others, regarding this instructional approach. Their passion for modeling was clear and their willingness to share effective strategies for building a classroom around modeling was most appreciated.


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