HS-PS1-2 Chemical Reactions

Chemical Illustrations of Flattening the Curve

With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion of “flattening the curve” by social distancing. These ideas can be demonstrated chemically, for example, by the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to produce an oxygen gas foam. Decreased hydrogen peroxide concentrations, representing decreased human population concentrations from social distancing, produce oxygen gas foam, representing cases of illness, at a slower rate. A similar demonstration can be achieved using the popular Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations.

Making a (big) eruption with chemistry!

As teachers, we can leverage fruitful discussions about chemical control with students to elicit more about students' initial ideas and ways of reasoning. From asking students to clarify their own thinking, we can identify students’ own productive ideas that we can capitalize on to advance their thinking.

A Multi-Colored Equilibrium Experiment

Solutions of copper (II) dissolved in acetone are easy to prepare, and can display orange, yellow, green, and blue color depending upon conditions. Such solutions allow for a variety of demonstrations and experiments that illustrate principles of chemical equilibrium. 

Element of the Month - Phosphorus

In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table: A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students. Phosphorus is the eighth in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT

Element of the Month- Chlorine

In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table: A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students. Chlorine is the seventh in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT

Chemical Kinetics with a Smartphone

This experiment in chemical kinetics can be conducted using materials as simple as a smartphone, hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate solution, and blue food dye! The experiment is useful when discussing the order of rate laws with respect to reactants.

Element of the Month - Copper

In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table: A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students. Copper is the sixth in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT

Chemical Tests on Coins

Simple chemical tests are described that can indicate the presence of certain metals in coins. A wide variety of chemical concepts are involved. The experiments described are a natural fit for the 2019 National Chemistry Week theme of "Marvelous Metals!"

Element of the Month - Iodine

In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table: A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students. Iodine is the fifth in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT