We all know how fundamental the mole concept is for stoichiometry. This year I brainstormed ways to really make it stick. I decided to do multiple mini-practicums, one for each learning target of the mole unit. I am sharing brief descriptions of the mini-practicums I did for each learning target.
The June, 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education contains an article that describes a simple, yet fascinating experiment that you and your students are going to love! It involves the use of butterfly wings from the genus Morpho. I obtained some of these wings and enjoyed experimenting with them. You will too!
A few years ago, the faculty in our department at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania decided to switch to an atoms first approach to the General Chemistry course. We took advantage of this change to systematically redesign the first semester of the laboratory curriculum to be a true “laboratory course” that focuses on laboratory practices, techniques, and equipment rather than on chemical theory.
I came across an interesting Journal of Chemical Education article that explains how it is possible to crosslink sodium alginate, leading to the formation of calcium alginate beads. Calcium alginate beads are hydrogels and one of their uses is to immobilize enzymes in their structure. I thought it would be cool to immobilize some lactase enzyme onto calcium alginate beads and investigate its ability to hydrolyze lactose.
It can be difficult to engage students in reviewing for semester exams by using worksheets or practicing problems on the whiteboard. If you are looking to change up your review plans, you might consider using a lab activity that provides opportunity to revisit many of the topics that need to be covered.
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.
The solution to Chemical Mystery #13: Bye Bye Blue! is presented. This experiment is useful to demonstrate to students when discussing acid-base indicators, neutralization reactions, or the acidity of carbon dioxide when it dissolves in water.
A simple, but tricky experiment is displayed. Can you figure out how the trick was done?
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...
I added an extra step including a follow up Claim, Evidence & Reasoning activity to the familiar whoosh bottle activity.