I facilitate a working group of chemistry teachers in the New York area and we recently created our own activity surrounding the topic of oxidation. The goal of the probe was to force students to think about what the meaning of oxidation is, as well as to allow students to engage in the science and engineering practice of argumentation. This was an introductory lesson to my oxidation and reduction unit prior to students learning the terms oxidation and reduction.
My district recently provided a professional development session focused on utilizing three dimensional formative assessments in the classroom. The ideas I learned in the session as well an an activity for students to engage in formative assessment are outlined.
Did you know there is a simple test you can do to see if an alkaline battery is fresh or dead? All you need to do is bounce the bottom of a battery onto a hard, flat surface. Guess what causes this difference in bouncing ability between fresh and dead batteries? Chemistry, of course!
You are likely aware that diamonds are converted - albeit slowly - to graphite under normal conditions. Thus, diamonds don't last forever, in contrast to the popular advertising slogan. However, did you know that you can use chemistry to prove that diamonds are not forever? It's simpler than you think...
In this blog post, I would like to share a relatively simple demonstration you may use to introduce the concept of antioxidant along with its potential in everyday life.
This activity is designed to determine the concentration of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in a produce protector (in this case, Ball® Fruit Fresh) by an iodometric titration method.
I have tried many different methods to demonstrate or perform displacement reactions over the years with mixed results regarding one particular metal, aluminium. Based upon my experience, the behavior of aluminium in displacement reactions often confuses students.
Decorative beads are tested for the presence of iron pyrite, or FeS2, in an activity well-suited for the National Chemistry Week theme of "Chemistry Rocks!"
If rhubarb stem is placed in a solution of permanganate, the purple permanganate ion is reduced to the colorless Mn2+ ion. It is thought that the oxalic acid present in rhubarb causes this reduction. The investigations presented in this post provide evidence that this may not be the whole story...
I found a version of this demonstration online a couple of years ago. I admit, when I first tried it with my class it was mostly for a crowd pleaser to demonstrate the activity series of metals, but I then became very intrigued by the processes occurring. The original source only referenced the “single replacement reaction” between Mg(s) and AgNO3(aq). Therefore, when I saw a grayish product (silver) I was not surprised. However, I was surprised by the white flash and the production of a white product, which were reminiscent of the classic combustion of magnesium demonstration. This led to some research and my conclusions that follow. Read through to the end and you will find a video of the demo.