Activities

ChemEd X activities are student-centered resources intended to aid learning chemistry topics.

ChemEd X emphasizes inquiry-based activities where students pose questions (with direction from the teacher) and then attempt to discover the answers through scientific inquiry.

Starting materials for demonstration
by Kaleb Underwood
Tue, 05/02/2017 - 08:55

I found a version of this demonstration online a couple of years ago. I admit, when I first tried it with my class it was mostly for a crowd pleaser to demonstrate the activity series of metals, but I then became very intrigued by the processes occurring. The original source only referenced the “single replacement reaction” between Mg(s) and AgNO3(aq). Therefore, when I saw a grayish product (silver) I was not surprised. However, I was surprised by the white flash and the production of a white product, which were reminiscent of the classic combustion of magnesium demonstration. This led to some research and my conclusions that follow. Read through to the end and you will find a video of the demo.

Recent activity: 3 weeks 5 days ago
by Doug Ragan
Wed, 02/22/2017 - 23:51

In an effort to better understand my high school students' knowledge of what is happening during phase changes, heating curve calculations, and the ever popular can crush demo, I run them through a series of activities. First, I ask my students "What Temperature Does Water Boil At?"

Recent activity: 2 months 1 week ago
Student generated reaction pathways flowchart
by Lowell Thomson
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 22:43

For a recent unit on organic chemistry for my IB students, I tried something new. I gave them a handout with a list of organic compounds (by class/functional group) and a list of mechanisms and reaction types. Their task (in small groups), using either butcher paper or a large whiteboard, was to create a flow chart of reaction pathways.

Recent activity: 4 months 1 day ago
hydrogen test
by Doug Ragan
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 21:12

To grasp the concept of oxidation and reduction reactions, I have my high school students write half reactions to show the loss and gain of electrons by the substances being oxidized and reduced. To help with this concept, I developed a quick lab activity involving the reaction between magnesium metal and dilute hydrochloric acid, which in turn led to the students collectin

Recent activity: 4 months 4 days ago
organic model kit
by Michael A. Morgan
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 13:23

Students will build models of isomers while the instructor walks around from station to station to critique the models. If the model is incorrect, the students rebuild until they get it right. The paper that accompanies this assignment is very easy to grade. 

Recent activity: 4 months 6 days ago
silver ornaments
by Deanna Cullen
Mon, 12/19/2016 - 13:16

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. 

Recent activity: 5 months 1 week ago
Isotopes Matter Interactive Periodic Table
by Michelle Okroy
Sun, 10/09/2016 - 14:33

After receiving positive feedback from Peter Mahaffy, the IUPAC project co-chair of Isotopes Matter, I decided to add an additional component to the original isotope assignment I posted. The second component of the assignment focuses on the applications of both radioactive and stable isotopes using the interactive IUPAC periodic table.

Recent activity: 4 months 4 weeks ago
by Lowell Thomson
Wed, 09/21/2016 - 08:44

ChemEd X recently made a Call for Contributions soliciting input regarding the big ideas being put forth by organizations like AP. The first thing that came to mind was a lab I modified that is centered around making connections between topics. Admittedly, this lab is not a "big idea" per se. Rather, it's the big idea that students should be able to make connections between topics we study to solve problems. So in this blog post, I would like to share a lab activity that relies on these connections - between stoichiometry, esterification, equilibrium, kinetics, titrations and uncertainty of calculations. I will also share the resources I have created to support my students through the process of working through these calculations.

Recent activity: 8 months 6 days ago
molecular models
by Michael A. Morgan
Mon, 09/12/2016 - 15:53

In a previous post I talked about an equation balancing lab that I have been doing with my students involving building molecular models. This time I would like to focus on another lab that I have developed for my model kits.

Recent activity: 4 months 1 week ago
Isotopes Matter
by Michelle Okroy
Mon, 09/05/2016 - 15:25

Isotopes Matter is a digital learning tool, developed by IUPAC Isotopic Periodic Table, designed to explain isotopes as well as their importance. This resource incorporates mass spectroscopy data into each of the key ideas as well as provides multiple examples as to how varying isotopes are commonly used.

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 4 months 4 weeks ago