Did you figure out how the experiment in Chemical Mystery #14 was performed? The solution is presented here!
HS-PS1-2 Chemical Reactions
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. Sodium is the first in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT
It is always helpful to have a lab that can be adapted to meet the needs of students. The "Magnesium Lab" is one of these experiments.
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.
Have you considered having your students make solar cells? If your AP kids can understand batteries, solar cells are a logical next step. I usually do independent projects after AP along with final presentations, but I stumbled upon this activity the other day and my mind exploded in excitement and thought I would share. In the future, I would definitely do this with my students!
The lab was a success as I watched startled students produce the so-called barking dog sound as they combusted the hydrogen gas in their inverted test tubes.
I have used several different versions of the Silver Mirror or Tollen's Test lab. I am sharing the method that has proven to be the most reliable for me. The solutions should be made fresh, the directions must be followed closely and timing is very important. I like the fact that relatively small amounts of the chemicals are required, but as always you must be vigilant with safety precautions.
My IB seniors are just wrapping up our unit on electrochemistry and redox. This has always been a challenging topic within the IB curriculum. Admittedly, electrochemistry has not ever been my strong suit either, so this year I aimed to strengthen the unit with two additional demonstrations.
Atomsmith works really well on Chromebooks and other platforms. Students can manipulate molecules, add water, do experiments, heat solutions and examine intermolecular forces all on the particulate level. Another nice feature is the "Experiment" section. There are a number of guided activities, usually never more than a page or two. I have found them to be great supplements for activities, experiments and demonstrations.
I am a very firm believer that the world of physical science can be visualized and is an excellent medium for teaching students to model and to picture what happens at the molecular level. The first topic we decided to explore was balancing chemical equations. This seems like such a simple topic to chemistry teachers but I have found that it can be quite challenging for many of my inner city students. The first thing they ask me for is a list of rules that they can follow. We can discuss the problems of algorithmic teaching in a later post! For the time being let’s talk about how to get students to understand why they need to balance equations and discuss what we can call “Conservation of Atoms”.