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Sudoku by the (Chemical) Numbers (1 Favorite)

ACTIVITY in Periodic Table, Review. Last updated May 3, 2022.


Summary

In this activity, students will first answer clues about fundamental chemistry concepts in order to determine the missing digits from a sudoku puzzle. After solving the clues, students must then use both logic and reasoning while following the rules of sudoku to solve the 9x9 puzzle.

Grade Level

High School

NGSS Alignment

This activity will help prepare your students to meet the performance expectations in the following standards:

  • Scientific and Engineering Practices:
    • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Objectives

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • Apply logical and reasoning while following the rules for solving a sudoku puzzle.
  • Answer given clues related to fundamental chemistry concepts.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of:

  • Chemistry Basics
  • Periodic Table
  • Atomic Structure
  • Review Questions

Time

Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 15-20 minutes

Materials

  • Student Handout
  • Periodic Table

Safety

  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • This activity was originally published in the April 2014 issue of ChemMatters Magazine. It has been modified slightly and republished in the AACT library with permission by the editor.
  • This activity was chosen to be republished in the Chemistry Fun section of the May 2022 issue of Chemistry Solutions.
  • This activity was designed to be a fun way for students to challenge their problem-solving abilities with a twist on a sudoku puzzle.
  • This activity could be used as a quick warm-up/bell-ringer activity, or shared with students who finish an assignment earlier than others.
  • In this is sudoku puzzle grid you will see 9 of the familiar 3x3 grids compiled together to create a larger 9x9 grid. Below is an overview of the rules for solving a sudoku puzzle for reference. These are also included on the student handout:
    • Use all digits 1 through 9 only once in each 3x3 grid, and only once in each row and column of the larger 9x9 grid.
    • Use the alphabetic clues provided below to determine a corresponding digit (between 1-9) and insert it into a space in the puzzle grid. Letters a-t (we are not using l or o to avoid any confusion) correspond to the various clues and are shown in the upper right of select grid spaces. Be warned that a misplaced number can sometimes make a puzzle unsolvable!
    • Use problem-solving skills and logical reasoning to then insert digits for any remaining unfilled squares. You’ll notice that a few squares have digits already placed in them to help you solve the sudoku. Good luck!
  • Deliberately, the 18 clues included as part of this puzzle cover a wide range of chemical topics.
  • An Answer Key for both the clue list and the puzzle grids has been provided for teacher reference.

For the Student

Lesson

Instructions

This is a sudoku puzzle with a chemical twist! In the puzzle grid you will see 9 of the familiar 3x3 grids used in a sudoku puzzle, compiled together to create a larger 9x9 grid.

In order to solve this sudoku puzzle:

  • Use all digits 1 through 9 only once in each 3x3 grid, and only once in each row and column of the larger 9x9 grid.
  • Use the alphabetic clues provided below to determine a corresponding digit (between 1-9) and insert it into a space in the puzzle grid. Letters a-t (we are not using l or o to avoid any confusion) correspond to the various clues and are shown in the upper right of select grid spaces. Be warned that a misplaced number can sometimes make a puzzle unsolvable!
  • Use your problem-solving skills and logical reasoning to then insert digits for any remaining unfilled squares. You’ll notice that a few squares have digits already placed in them to help you solve the sudoku. Good luck!

Letter Clue Number
a The density of nitrogen gas at standard temperature and pressure (STP) rounded to the nearest whole number.
b The ideal Gas Law constant R is 0.0_2 L·atm/mol K. What is the missing digit?
c The atomic number of the smallest atom in Group 15.
d The charge of the sodium ion.
e The biggest value in electronegativity (Pauling scale) in the periodic table. (Hint: It is held by a halogen.)
f The Celsius equivalent of 276 K.
g The number of orbitals in any filled d subshell.
h The number of moles of C2H6 in a 150gram sample.
i The third digit in Avogadro’s number.
j The number of carbon atoms in a molecule of heptane.
k In the international system of units (SI), the metrix prefix Giga implies 1 followed by how many zeros?
m The number of alkali metals in the periodic table.
n The number of neutrons in the nucleus of a hydrogen-3 atom.
p The pH of 0.001 Molar HNO3.
q The number of valence electrons in a silicon atom.
r The first digit in the Faraday constant (the charge on one mole of electrons).
s The sum of the atomic numbers of the lightest 3 atoms on the periodic table.
t The heaviest noble gas has an atomic number of 11_. What is the missing digit?