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.

Isotope eggs
by Bernadette Harkness
Sat, 09/30/2017 - 11:08

In January of 2017, Chad Hustings wrote a blog post, Isotopes, Nuts, Bolts and Eggs, about an activity some colleagues and I had shared in a workshop at BCCE in 2016.

Comments: 1
Recent activity: 1 week 5 days ago
measuring volume and mass of water
by Michael Morgan
Tue, 08/22/2017 - 15:30

My first experiment involves measuring the density of water. Each group of two kids is assigned a specific volume of water from 10 to 100 mLs on the tens. They simply measure the mass of an empty graduated cylinder and then add the water and find the mass again. Once they have their data they go around the room and find another group that has one of the volumes that they need and get the data from them and record their names. Once complete they generate a graph of the data and answer a few simple questions. The whole procedure can be completed in about 20 minutes.

Comments: 2
Recent activity: 1 month 1 week ago
Example student graph
by George Parris
Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:32

A classroom activity to demonstrate the principles of chemical kinetics and equilibria and the utility of the mole concept is described here. The activity involved no hazardous materials or complex equipment and can be enjoyed and appreciated by general studies students as well as chemistry majors.

Recent activity: 1 month 2 weeks ago
DYI Hoffman Apparatus
by Deanna Cullen
Tue, 07/25/2017 - 12:03

Chad Hustings blogged this past school year about building his own Hoffman apparatus for each group of students. I have been using a Hoffman apparatus that had been purchased by my district before I began teaching there over 20 years ago to demonstrate electrolysis of water, but providing each student group with the ability to perform an electrolysis themselves is a powerful activity. I have used a different version of a homemade Hoffman apparatus, but after reading Chad's blog post, I decided to use a version close to his.  

Recent activity: 2 months 2 weeks ago
preview graphic of soap samples
by Heidi Park
Sat, 07/08/2017 - 11:56

My first year teaching chemistry, I was looking for a soap-making lab or activity that I could run in my chemistry class with 25-30 students working at the same time. I usually do this activity right before spring break, as it provides enough time for the soap to harden and cure (high school students are impatient to use their soaps right away, which you should not do with cold process soap). I have used the activity at different points in the curriculum: during intermolecular forces, during acids and bases, and during stoichiometry. Although I know teachers who use soap making as a project during their stoichiometry unit, I chose to not emphasize the calculations as it would require more time than I have available. Simply making the soap easily fits in a 45-minute period.

Recent activity: 3 months 1 week ago
Stoichiometry resources
by Tracy.Schloemer
Tue, 07/04/2017 - 10:24

In a recent post, I shared sample quiz questions as to how I have differentiated assessment within the mole unit. Here, I share a specific multi-day sequence within the stoichiometry unit. I have written extensively about the project that drives this unit (within the following blog posts: Why consider trying project based learning?, Backwards planning your PBL unit -­ An Overview of an Entire Unit and What ARE my students actually learning during this long term project (PBL)?), but very little about specific learning tasks. Below is a two day sequence of stoichiometry practice that I set up in my classroom. Stations are set up around the room and students rotate as necessary.

Recent activity: 3 months 1 week ago
Muffins
by Chad Husting
Fri, 06/09/2017 - 06:58

I try to examine activities an multiple levels. First on the list, I want to know if my students will be engaged and learn something. Second, how difficult is it for me as a teacher to actually pull it off? One of the most important questions...are the students learning chemistry or just having fun? This is the first year I have attempted the following activity.  Students were engaged in the real world connection, they asked questions, it transitioned into some chemistry concepts and even some parents got involved. The activity involved acid, bases, pH and food.

Recent activity: 3 months 1 week ago
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: 5 months 2 weeks 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: 6 months 4 weeks 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: 8 months 3 weeks ago