Polystyrene foam sticks with a square or rectangular profile will not fit into a round target hole (e.g., the opening of a soda bottle) at room temperature. However, they do contract sufficiently in contact with liquid nitrogen to fit into the hole and produce a simple demonstration of Charles’s Law. Many other polymer foams do not shrink under these conditions, but still provide opportunities to discuss and explore their structure and chemistry.
Nora Walsh shares the outline of the interactive notebook pages she uses for her gases unit. Templates for all of the documents and foldables are available for download.
Gas Laws are an essential and easily accessible area of chemistry to understand. They can be an excellent foothold into the inner workings of chemistry. On December 9th, 2021, Daniel Radoff shared his unit covering gas laws in this ChemBasics Talk. You can view a recording of his presentation and access materials he has suggested.
Chad Husting uses a few simple gas law experiments to introduce his students to the particulate level of chemistry.
Helping students develop abstract understanding is a universal goal. This article describes an activity that involves students developing and then solving novel quantitative chemistry problems following a MadLibsTM style framework.
Stacks of LEGO bricks can be used to illustrate the composition and pressures of various planetary atmospheres. Guides for the construction and use of these atmosphere sticks are provided.
Allowing students to confront the failure of a model and then helping them construct a new or slightly modified model to account for new observations is at the heart of the process of science. Ben Meacham shares one approach that can be deployed with a variation of depth, making it attainable for anyone learning about chemistry.
This classroom activity challenges students to figure out the volume of gaseous carbon dioxide emitted from the combustion of 1 gallon of gasoline fuel.
The demonstration where CO2 is generated and used to snuff out a candle in an aquarium or other container is well known. This article describes a dramatic variation on these demonstrations that allows for discussion of such topics as the ideal gas law, densities of different gases, gas density changes with temperature, miscibility, and viscosity. The device described is easily and inexpensively produced and stored. The demonstration is large scale and works well for classrooms and community outreach events.
What is the pressure inside a bottle of soda pop? Read this short article to find the surprising answer to this question, and also to learn how to do an experiment to answer this question for yourself!