Classroom Resources: Chemistry Basics


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1 – 25 of 31 Classroom Resources

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Dimensional Analysis, Experimental Design | High School

    Project: Food Chemistry Infographic

    In this project, students will research the chemical content and nutritional value of their favorite holiday foods, presenting their findings in an infographic. They will also include a recipe, which they will convert to metric units to practice dimensional analysis. As an extension to explore experimental design, they could alter one aspect of the recipe and observe how that change affects the final product.

  • Interdisciplinary, Chemical Change, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: Designing Biomimetic Songbird Preen Oil from Waste Cooking Oil

    In this guided-inquiry lab, students will design and test a procedure reacting waste cooking oil in a blue cheese slurry to create a substance that mimics songbird preen oil, which is both antibacterial and hydrophobic. Students will convert the fatty acids in waste oil to methyl ketones, thought to be the principal antibacterial component of preen oil, using the P. roqueforti mold found in blue cheese. Students will expand their knowledge of biomimicry, inherent properties of preen oil, and chemical synthesis by applying the principles of green chemistry. They will also assess their own process through higher-order problem solving and building on their scientific research skills.

  • Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Understanding Specific Heat

    In this simulation, students will play the role of engineer in deciding which materials are the best candidates for a building project. They will calculate the specific heat capacity of various building materials to determine which ones meet the criteria for building an energy efficient home. Students will also do a cost analysis to determine which material to use in their building project. On the student activity sheet, they will answer additional conceptual and numerical questions related to specific heat capacity.

  • Scientific Method, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Designing a Procedure for Product Testing

    In this activity, students will take on the role of research engineers who work for a chemical company that sells coatings for different types of surfaces.  Students are required to design a procedure for testing their common household coating to prove its durability to various types of stresses. Students will be required to create procedures that can collect both quantitative and qualitative data as well as an appropriate data table.

  • Observations, Inferences, Chemical Change, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Demonstration: What Causes Yeast to Ferment?

    In this lesson, students will observe and verify molasses sugar content as a result of its ability to ferment yeast. They will compare how molasses allows yeast to ferment with other sugar solutions as well as a sugar-free solution.

  • Scientific Method, Graphing, Experimental Design | Elementary School, Middle School

    Activity: Graphing Glow-in-the-Dark Paint

    In this activity, students will have the opportunity to review the scientific method, and analyze data from a scenario about glow-in-the-dark paint. Additionally, students with create a graph to help them to interpret data.

  • Interdisciplinary, Heat, Temperature, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Radiation, Graphing, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Lesson Plan: The Ozone Layer

    In this lesson, students will develop an explanation for the consequences of ozone depletion on Earth by planning and carrying out an investigation. Students will use analysis and interpretation of data to develop a model to explain the cause and effect of Ozone depletion on the planet Earth.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Lesson Plan: Not Breaking Up is Hard to Do: the Properties of Glass

    In this lesson students will learn about the properties of glass, and relate those properties to the new engineering design of glass in a car.

  • Concentration, Molarity, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic, Calorimetry, Heat, Temperature, Scientific Method, Enthalpy, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: Less Than Zero

    In this lab, students will investigate the endothermic reaction between baking soda and HCl. Students will consider stoichiometric ratios, molar concentrations, reaction scale, and calorimetry. The lab starts with a scripted reaction that uses given molar ratios, a glass beaker, and 2-M HCl. They will witness a temperature drop of about 5 to 8 C. Students then adjust the experiment so they can achieve a temperature drop of more than 20 C.

  • Gas Laws, Catalysts, Combustion, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Enthalpy, Activation Energy, Energy Diagrams, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: Launching Rockets

    In this lab, students create a stoichiometric mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases to launch a soda bottle rocket.

  • Isotopes, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: Isotopes Make Cents

    In this lab, students use a sample of pennies to mimic how average atomic mass is calculated.

  • Density, Physical Properties, Measurements, Significant Figures, Scientific Method, Graphing, Error Analysis, Experimental Design, Error Analysis | High School

    Lab: Investigating the Density of an Irregular Solid Object

    In this lab, students will use common laboratory equipment to devise a method to measure the density of several irregular objects. They will then create a formal laboratory report using both their own data and data from the entire class.

  • Physical Properties, Identifying an Unknown, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Structure, Scientific Method, Graphing, Error Analysis, Experimental Design | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Importance of Motor Oil Viscosity in Optimal Car Functioning

    In this lesson students will determine how temperature affects viscosity and relate the data to the structure of motor oil and the optimal functioning of a car.

  • Concentration, Interdisciplinary, Review, Identifying an Unknown, Culminating Project, Molarity, Balancing Equations, Stoichiometry, Classification of Reactions, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: The Culminating Unknown

    In this lab, students identify an unknown from a list of 12 possible compounds by designing a procedure and using evidence to prove their claim. They must draw from knowledge gained throughout the year to properly develop a procedure to identify the unknown.

  • Observations, Separating Mixtures, Physical Properties, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Scientific Method, Chemical Properties, Mixtures, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Test Tube Separation

    In this lab, students will mix four substances in a test tube and recreate the original four layers through chemical and physical means.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Redox Reaction, Scientific Method, Electron Transfer, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Test Tube Geology

    In this lab, students will observe a reaction between an iron nail and copper(II) sulfate in a test tube over the course of several days, modeling how a similar reaction occurs to form copper deposits in the earth. Students will also modify the procedures to evaluate how changing a factor of their choice affects the results of the test tube reaction, introducing them to concepts of experimental design. It also introduces students to my version of the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH).

  • Density, Gas Laws, Density, Pressure, Temperature, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Ideal Gas, Scientific Method, Volume, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Hot Air Balloon

    In this activity, students use their knowledge of Charles’ law to build a hot air balloon and evaluate its design.

  • Physical Properties, History, Interdisciplinary, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Lesson Plan: Give Your Car Some Bounce

    In this lesson students will learn about polymerization, specifically as it pertains to rubber tires and other materials in a vehicle. Students will take on the role of an engineer, and will investigate physical properties of different polymers and/or elastomers to determine the best material to use for an assigned product.

  • Separating Mixtures, Physical Properties, Physical Change, Scientific Method, Mixtures, Error Analysis, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Separation of a Mixture

    In this lab, students devise their own method to separate a mixture of sand, salt, poppy seeds, and iron filings.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Reaction Rate, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Reaction Rate

    In this lab, students will explore factors that effect reaction rate and develop a general statement that describes how the factors (temperature, particle size, and concentration) effect the rate based on experimental data. This is an inquiry-based activity.

  • Introduction, Interdisciplinary, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Activity: Experimental Design using Science and Engineering Practices

    In this activity, students will read a short story about an experiment that was conducted about an everyday question. Then the student will decide if and how the experimenter followed the scientific method. Then they will consider their own everyday questions and propose a way to answer them experimentally.

  • Introduction, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School

    Activity: Procedure Pictures

    In this activity students are put into groups of 2 – 3 and are then charged with developing a procedure to investigate a provided “fact or fiction” statement. The twist to this task is that they are not allowed to use words; their entire procedure must be represented in pictures. This idea is based on the recent “Can You Picture That?” article by Julie Damico in the February 2014 edition of The Science Teacher magazine.

  • Physical Properties, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | Middle School, High School

    Lesson Plan: Designing & Engineering a Fast Defroster

    In this activity students use their understanding of energy transfer to “design a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.”  And “evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.”  The real world problem is to help a cook who is trying to make a meal, but realizes some of the ingredients are frozen and must be thawed before he can begin.

  • Exothermic & Endothermic, Calorimetry, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Scientific Method, Graphing, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: Cool Science: Building and Testing a Model Radiator

    In this lab students construct a model of a car radiator to investigate parameters that lead to efficient cooling. Students investigate multiple variables as they experiment with various radiator designs. This lesson focuses on thermochemistry calculations and engineering practices.

  • Chemical Change, Reaction Rate, Catalysts, Balancing Equations, Percent Yield, Stoichiometry, Chemical Change, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Scientific Method, Error Analysis, Experimental Design, Error Analysis | High School

    Lesson Plan: Catalysis & Catalytic Converters

    In this lesson students will be introduced to catalysts while expanding their knowledge of chemical reactions and stoichiometry. They will first learn about catalytic converters and then be challenged to create the best “catalytic converter” of hydrogen peroxide to oxygen gas in an inquiry-based activity.

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