Science Practice: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating information

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.

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.

Gas Laws and Deflategate

If you are looking for ideas to create an authentic opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of gas laws while integrating some of the most important science practices, then this activity may fit your needs.

The Liquid Nitrogen Cloud

Have you ever seen the liquid nitrogen cloud? Do you wonder how the cloud forms when hot water is thrown onto liquid nitrogen? This post explores the liquid nitrogen cloud and possible explanations for its formation.

A Great Introduction to Stoichiometry

This lab is one of my favorite activities to do in my classes and I look forward to it every year. The lab is simple, requires limited supplies, students love it (i.e. high engagement level), and I have found it to really set students up for stoichiometry.

Detection of Nickel Cations in Coins

It is not known why people develop allergies to nickel and there is no cure. The best course of action to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid contact with products containing nickel. This article will explain how to make an easy and cheap nickel detection device that will limit or eliminate the risks of exposure to sources of nickel using some interesting classic chemistry.