Science Practice: Developing and Using Models

Will a Watched Pot Ever Boil? A Simple, but Effective, Chemistry Lab: Constructing a Heating Curve of Water

This lab guides students through taking data and constructing their own heating curve for water. It requires no special equipment, is low prep, is safe, and can even be done at home for homeschool or distance learning. Even though the lab activity itself is relatively simple and straightforward, the concepts still engage students in higher level thinking and gives them important practice with laboratory techniques and forming hypotheses.

A Polystyrene Model of Polystyrene Tacticity

Thin sheets of polystyrene can be patterned with permanent markers to represent repeating units of the polymer and then shrunk down in size using heat. The shrunken models of the repeating units can be connected with a string and then flipped into positions to demonstrate different types of polymer tacticity.

Analogy Experiment—Projectile Pennies with Rutherford

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. This simple activity 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.

Real vs Ideal - Do Students "Get It"?

Allowing students to confront the failure of a model and then helping them construct a new or slightly modified model to account for new observations is at the heart of the process of science. Ben Meacham shares one approach that can be deployed with a variation of depth, making it attainable for anyone learning about chemistry.

Lesson to determine the relationships between acid strength, Ka, pH, Molarity, and percent ionization

After teaching the concepts and calculations for acid and base strength, concentration, percent ionization, and pH I noticed many of my students were struggling to make meaningful connections between these calculations.This lesson was created to strengthen the understanding of the relationships between these concepts and skills.