In this lab, students are presented with nine unknown substances. By performing a series of tests, analyzing chemical structures, and applying their understanding of how intermolecular forces affect the properties of a substance, students will ultimately determine the identity of each unknown.
Did you figure out how to create a multi-colored mixture? Check out the solution to Chemical Mystery #19: Multi-colored Mixture!
Students use a micro-scale method to extract caffeine from tea using dichloromethane. At the end of the activity, the students' dochloromethane extractions are pooled; the solvent is distilled after class for re-use.
Many of us have molecular kits we only use once a year. Dust them off and find new lessons to use them in!
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.
Liquid nitrogen is used to visualize the aerosol particles emitted while speaking, coughing, breathing, and sneezing. The ability of various masks to block these droplets was also tested.
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Like most concepts in chemistry, intermolecular forces takes a bit of imagination and critical thinking to fully comprehend and apply when explaining a variety of situations. Though demonstrating the presence of these forces in a simple and explicit manner can easily be done, I wanted to change how I introduced IMFs a bit this year by focusing on a more data-to-concepts approach.
The solution to Chemical Mystery #15: The Leaky Cup is shown here.
Determination of Lewis Dot structures and visualization of the shapes of molecules using VSEPR theory is an example of an abstract concept that students often find difficult to learn. I have found it useful to have a single worksheet/packet that my students can add to as we cover Lewis dot structures, resonance, VSEPR shapes, polarity, and intermolecular forces.