In this activity, students learn about the mole. In section 1, students learn what a mole looks like for different substances. In section 2, students learn how the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus determines the molar mass of an element by comparing individual isotopes in a PhET simulation..
Determining the empirical formulas of ionic compounds based on charge balance is often a challenge for beginning chemistry students. Many visual aides have been developed for this purpose, from repurposing commercial interlocking bricks to custom 3-D printed bricks. This article describes yet another option– upcycled can carriers.
Card sorts can be used to quickly assess student understanding. The author has modified two card sorts on photoelectron spectroscopy and intermoleculer forces for use either remotely or in a paperless classroom.
Kristen Drury shares how she covers the new AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description Learning Objectives associated with atomic structure.
I have been using magnets of elements and subatomic particles for some time to help my students visualize what is happening at the particle level of chemistry. I now have more tools to use and I hope you follow me and explore what we can do with them to help our students.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the March 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.
Atomic theory is a common topic throughout any introductory chemistry course. It is likely that Rutherford’s gold foil experiment gets at least some attention in your course. I have used a simple activity that gives students an opportunity to replicate Rutherford’s experiment through an analogy experiment that may allow for easier conceptualization of the experiment itself and provide additional support for model development.
Light is a challenging topic in chemistry. In this article, I share an outline of how I approach the content related to interactions between matter and light using activities, a simulation, demonstrations and whiteboards.
As part of a two-week Chemistry Modeling Workshop™ in Houston, TX, I had the opportunity to read the Journal of Chemical Education article “When Atoms Want” by Vicente Talanquer of the University of Arizona. I researched Dr. Talanquer and discovered he created a collection of simulations called Chemical Thinking Interactives (CTI). These digital tools illustrate many chemistry topics with a focus on the particulate nature of matter.
After spending the start of the year using a modified version of the Modeling Instruction curriculum (density and physical properties, followed by gas laws, followed by energy and phase changes), we don’t actually start talking about what’s inside atoms until December. I love that by this point students are already familiar with some of the habits of mind needed to reason abstractly about atoms -- thinking proportionally, explaining macroscopic observations at the particle level -- and we are ready to layer on both more abstraction and the symbolic level. By January, we are ready to explore electron configurations.