I was drawn to an article by Eilks, Gulacar, and Sandoval about Acid-Base Chemistry and Chemical Equilibrium in the April 2018 issue of JCE. The title of the article is "Exploring the Mysterious Substances, X and Y: Challenging Students' Thinking on Acid-Base Chemistry and Chemical Equilibrium." The premise of the article is to demonstrate how an instructor may use a group of compounds (zeolites) to "elaborate on the behavior of solid state acids and bases" while revisiting LeChatelier's principle.
With a desire to increase curiosity and enthusiasm in my classroom along with ideas gleaned from Twitter, I have shifted my curriculum to a lab-first approach.
Inspired by Ben Meacham's post on stoichiometry, I looked to modify the lab sequence for my IB Chemistry class for our unit on stoichiometry. I will describe my experience modifying a typical empirical formula lab, along with using a modified version of the lab Ben shared.
A simple laboratory experiment in which students simply measure the wavelength of light is described. An LED light, diffraction glasses, and a meterstick are the only required materials.
Whether you are looking to add a bit more scientific inquiry to your labs or simply looking for a great stoichiometry lab that can be added to your collection, I encourage you to try something like this with your students!
In the embedded video, I will walk you through a kinetics experiment we use in our Chemistry 2 (and Honors Chemistry 2) courses. The lab is called Disappearing X.
It was close to the end of the semester and we were covering gas laws. Students were stressed over the idea of finals, final projects due, tests before finals and the holidays. Since we were finishing up the topic and it was important to end with one last assessment and/or lab but the timing was not good and the stress level for everyone was at an all time high. A different course of action was needed.
When it comes to student laboratory/apparatus setup, one thing is sure to help—visuals. There is a free and incredibly easy tool that allows you to assemble and customize almost any chemistry related setup you wish. Say hello to Chemix!
I am sharing a list of YouTube videos that I have used with my students. I am interested in finding more. Please share any that you use in the comment section below.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the October 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education that are of special interest to high school chemistry teachers.