Stoichiometry Scavenger Hunt

text over game clue: STOICHIOMETRY SCAVENGER HUNT

Many of us find stoichiometry to be what I like to think of as “the grind” unit in our chemistry courses. It feels like it never ends and the students can get very burned out with what can feel like repetitive practice. To address this, I designed a stoichiometry scavenger hunt to inject some fun into my stoichiometry unit.

Concepts: 
stoichiometry
Time required: 

This activity is always a popular one with my students. It is very flexible – I have used it over multiple days sometimes, and many students have asked to use it again for review. I like to initially do it as a race – the top three groups with the most correct answers win a small treat. I pair students intentionally so that a student who is showing comprehension that is further along is paired with a student who may be struggling.

Materials: 

 

Editor’s Note: Log into your ChemEd X account to access the Student and Teacher Document. Don't have an account? Free registration is available .

Procedure: 

The premise of the activity is this:

  • Each student or pair of students gets a starting number that identifies their first clue.
  • The clue prompts them to solve a stoichiometry problem. The correct answer (round-able within 0.05) should be a whole number. That number is their next clue.
  • The path is a loop that leads students through up to 30 stoichiometry problems.

The scavenger hunt clues use mixed units (molecules, atoms, grams, moles and liters of a gas at STP) and various starting and ending points in the stoichiometric process. No limiting reagent problems are included. The beauty of this activity is there are elements that allow self-checking because of the way it is designed:  

  • An answer that is not a whole number (roundable within 0.05) is incorrect.
  • An answer larger than 30 is incorrect.
  • If students double back on themselves in the loop, they did something wrong!

 

Clues taped around the classroom

Figure 1: Clues arranged around the classroom

 

The stoichiometry prompt cards, teacher information sheet, and student work page are included in the Supporting Information below (log into your ChemEd X account to access teacher documents). I print the prompt cards 2-sided a flip on the short edge – this formats the clues so that I can tape them across the top and students simply lift the card to see the prompt. The clues are arranged out of order around the room so students have to go hunting for the cards (see figure 1). This leads to high engagement and fun for the students as they move around, looking for the numbers. I set some ground rules to make sure the activity is fair for all students:

  • Clues may not be easy to find, but they are visible in the room. No clues are found in drawers or behind doors.
  • You may not relocate or remove a clue.
  • When you move from one clue to another, be sure that the clue number is clearly visible to other groups.

The teacher information sheet shows the full loop, as well as the answers to each problem in order to help you assist your students. I do tell my students that I don’t check their individual answers for them unless they double back on themselves, in which case I will help them find a clue to restart with (usually a wrong answer that will allow them to keep working a large number of clues.)


Figure 2: Example of student work

I designed the student work page to make it easy for the students to organize their work and the process so that the teacher can scan the results quickly (see figure 2). It forces them to show their path in an organized fashion, with a clear notation of the work. I print this page front to back as well, and one sheet has space for 10 clues. I announce at the beginning of the activity that they are welcome to pick up another sheet for their work as needed.

I hope you and your students have as much fun with this stoichiometry review as we do!

Preparation: 

Print 30 clue cards and arrange around the classroom. Find the clue cards in the Supporting Information below when logged into your ChemEd X account.

Print Student Work Pages (also available in the Supporting Information) - Each page allows room for 10 problems per student / group.

Attribution: 

A Google search will yield a variety of other scavenger hunts that have been used by teachers.

Collection: 

NGSS

Students who demonstrate understanding can use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.

*More information about all DCI for HS-PS1 can be found at  and further resources at .

Summary:

Students who demonstrate understanding can use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.

Assessment Boundary:

Assessment does not include complex chemical reactions.

Clarification:

Emphasis is on using mathematical ideas to communicate the proportional relationships between masses of atoms in the reactants and the products, and the translation of these relationships to the macroscopic scale using the mole as the conversion from the atomic to the macroscopic scale. Emphasis is on assessing students’ use of mathematical thinking and not on memorization and rote application of problem - solving techniques.

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Comments 6

Deborah Kiel's picture
Deborah Kiel | Mon, 04/04/2022 - 17:12

Using this tomorrow.  so kind of you to share your hard work!  I hope I can return the favor.

Quick question...If I wanted to eliminate 10 cards so students can finish in one period how would I go about that best to not disturb the flow or distribution of questions with different variables?

Nora Walsh's picture
Nora Walsh | Tue, 04/05/2022 - 09:22

I'm so glad you like it!

My students never finish the entire loop, unless they use flex time to intentionally finish it. What I would do if I were you is I would set a number of clues they have to complete, or just give them a time limit and they get as far as they get. I give them credit by checking to see if they have the correct order of progression through the loop. In that way, you don't have to worry about removing questions and closing the loop, which I think would be really hard because of the way I intentionally have it staggered so that students don't pile up at one question.

I hope that helps!

Eric Oblinger | Fri, 04/08/2022 - 08:24

Thank you for sharing. Numerous students commented that this activity helped them understand stoichiometry. Recent test results verified their feedback. Students seemed to truly enjoy the challenge of the scavenger hunt.

Nora Walsh's picture
Nora Walsh | Fri, 04/08/2022 - 12:09

I'm so glad they found it helpful!

Debbie LaZerte | Fri, 04/08/2022 - 09:18

This sounds like so much fun!  Definitely doing this with my advanced classes after break to review.  Thank you!

Stephanie Harry's picture
Stephanie Harry | Thu, 04/28/2022 - 21:39

My students and I really like this activity. I used it as an individual activity so students and I could gauge their understanding of how to stoichiometry. I was happy to see student level of understanding and confidence increase as they worked through this assignment.