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Exploring Gases (8 Favorites)

LAB in Gas Laws. Last updated May 30, 2017.


Summary

In this lab, students will investigate the relationship between the variables of temperature, volume and pressure. Students will engage in three lab station activities that each demonstrate a particular gas law. Students will interpret the results, graph data points and relate given data sets to each of the three gas laws.

Grade Level

High school

Objectives

By the end of this lab, students should be able to

  • Describe the relationship between temperature and volume with pressure being held constant
  • Describe the relationship between temperature and pressure with volume being held constant
  • Describe the relationship between volume and pressure with temperature being held constant

Chemistry Topics

This lab supports students’ understanding of

  • Gases
  • Gas laws

Time

Teacher Preparation: 10- 20 minutes

Lesson: 45 minutes

Materials

Lab Station 1: Crush the Can

  • Bunsen Burner
  • Empty Soda Can (one needed per group, is cannot be reused)
  • Large Beaker filled with ice water
  • Tongs

Lab Station 2: Marshmallow and Syringe

  • Small marshmallow (one needed per group, is cannot be reused)
  • Syringe

Lab Station 3: Empty Bottle

  • Empty Soda Bottle
  • Temperature Strip inside of the bottle
  • Pump Cap

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Students should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • When students complete the lab, instruct them how to clean up their materials and dispose of any chemicals.
  • Always use caution around open flames. Keep flames away from flammable substances.
  • Always be aware of an open flame. Do not reach over it, tie hair back, and secure loose clothing.
  • Open flames can cause burns.
  • When lighting the match and wooden splint, be cautious with the flame.
  • An operational fire extinguisher should be in the classroom.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.

Teacher Notes

  • I do this at the very beginning of the unit on gases as an inquiry based lab.Organize students in groups of 3-4.
  • If you have more lab tables available, set up each lab station twice so that the students can rotate through them faster.
  • You can buy the Cartesian Diver pump cap from Flinn
  • Each station shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
  • You will need to refresh the ice water bath throughout the day.
  • You might have to help instruct at the soda can station because sometimes the students have trouble inverting and dumping the can fast enough.
  • You may have to remind student that they should be creating a line graph because it’s showing change and not a bar graph since it’s not comparing anything.

For the Student

Objective

You will observe and describe the relationships between temperature, volume, and pressure in the following lab stations.

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • Follow the teacher’s instructions for cleanup of materials and disposal of chemicals.
  • Always use caution around open flames. Keep flames away from flammable substances.
  • Always be aware of an open flame. Do not reach over it, tie hair back, and secure loose clothing.
  • Open flames can cause burns.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.

Lab Station 1: Crush the Can

Materials

  • Bunsen Burner
  • Empty Soda Can
  • Large Beaker filled with ice water
  • Tongs

Procedure

  1. Put a small splash of water in the empty soda can.
  2. Carefully light the Bunsen burner.
  3. Holding the can with tongs, heat the can over the flame until you see steam rising out of it and can hear the water boiling.
  4. Very quickly, invert (turn the can upside down) into the ice water.
  5. Turn off the Bunsen Burner,
  6. Using the tongs, pour out any water from the soda can and place the can in the recycling bin.
  7. Complete the data table for this station.

Lab Station 2: Marshmallow and Syringe

Materials

  • Small marshmallow
  • Syringe

Procedure

  1. Open the syringe.
  2. Place the marshmallow into the syringe.
  3. Close the syringe.
  4. Place your finger over the tip of the syringe.
  5. Push down and pull back on the syringe.
  6. Remove your finger, open the syringe and put the marshmallow in the trash can.
  7. Complete the data table for this station.

Lab Station 3: Empty Bottle

Materials

  • Empty Soda Bottle
  • Temperature Strip inside of the bottle
  • Pump Cap

Procedure

  1. Observe the temperature strip inside the bottle.
  2. Connect the pump cap to the bottle opening.
  3. Push the knob several times and again observe the temperature strip.
  4. Remove the cap and observe the strip.
  5. Complete the data table for this station.

Data

Station Observations Variables that changed (V, T, P) Unit for each variable involved
1
2
3

Analysis

Use the following information to graph each set of data. Be careful to place the correct variable on the correct axis.

Volume (mL) Pressure (Torr)
10 750
20 400
30 250
40 200
Graph 1
  • What variable is on the x-axis?
  • What variable is on the y-axis?
  • What type of relationship do the 2 variables have?
  • Which station relates to this lab?
  • Why did you choose that station?
File
Volume (mL) Temperature (K)
40
275
45
300
48
325
52
350
Graph 2
  • What variable is on the x-axis?
  • What variable is on the y-axis?
  • What type of relationship do the 2 variables have?
  • Which station relates to this lab?
  • Why did you choose that station?
File
Temperature (K) Pressure (Torr)
250
700
275 750
300
850
375
1050
Graph 3
  • What variable is on the x-axis?
  • What variable is on the y-axis?
  • What type of relationship do the 2 variables have?
  • Which station relates to this lab?
  • Why did you choose that station?
File

Conclusion

  1. Write a summary about what you learned in this lab.
  2. Explain why you ears pop when you take off on an air plane.
  3. Explain why a soda can would explode if you left it in your car on a hot summer day.
  4. Explain why your tires might appear to look flat in the winter but not in the summer.