Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics

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  • Electrolysis, Redox Reaction, Galvanic Cells, Gibb's Free Energy , Electrolytic Cells | High School

    Lesson Plan: Exploration of Electrolytic Cells

    In this lesson, students will build several electrolytic cells, discuss and diagram their cells to further their understanding of electrolysis, and use qualitative and quantitative analysis of the electrolysis of potassium iodide. Finally, students will practice and be assessed on their knowledge of electrolysis on AP exam-level questioning.

  • Catalysts, Entropy, Equilibrium Constants, Enthalpy, Activation Energy, Energy Diagrams, Reaction Quotient, Spontaneous vs. Non-spontaneous Reactions | High School

    Lesson Plan: Making Connections in Kinetics, Equilibrium and Thermochemistry

    In this lesson students will understand the connections between the equilibrium constant (K) and the reaction quotient (Q) as well as how they determine the favorability of a reaction. Additionally students will be able to determine if a reaction is kinetically favored or thermodynamically favored.

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat | High School, Middle School

    Activity: The Frontiers of Chemistry: Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about several exciting scientific developments, including solar cells, 3D printing and micro machines. This video will help students understand that fundamental chemistry concepts are essential to the advancement of science and technology.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Mole Concept, Percent Composition, Emission Spectrum | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chemical Analysis of Martian Rocks

    In this lesson, students are challenged to analyze the spectral graphs obtained by the Curiosity Mars Rover. Based on their examination students will determine the component elements of each sample, as well as the relative abundance of each element. With this information the student will complete calculations to find the empirical formula and identify the composition of the unknown rock. Finally students will complete research to see if these rocks are actually like those on Earth.

  • Reaction Rate, Exothermic & Endothermic, Le Châtelier's Principle, Hess's Law, Activation Energy | High School

    Lab: Kinetics and Equilibrium

    In this lab, students will investigate the reaction of the hydrogen sulfite ion (HSO3-) and the iodate ion (IO3-) to determine the effect that changing concentration and temperature has on the reaction rate.

  • Density, Phase Changes, Specific Heat, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Chemistry is Cooler Stress Test Challenge

    In this lab, students will design and build a device capable of insulating an ice cube submerged in boiling water for two minutes. In this open-ended inquiry based activity, students will be required to critically think about structure and function of the materials they wish to use to build a device to solve a complex real-world problem. Students must consider the thermal properties of the materials, density, and the need to form a non-permeable barrier between the ice cube and the boiling water.

  • Physical Properties, History, Measurements, Temperature, SI Units, Accuracy | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Temperature Guys Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about how both the thermometer and the concept of temperature evolved over time

  • Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Lab: The Case of the Contaminated Well

    In this lab, students will observe the colors produced when different metal salt solutions are heated in a flame. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if collected evidence was contaminated.

  • Atomic Spectra, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Lab: Mystical Fire Investigation

    In this lab, students will create several testable questions based upon their observations of a mystical fire. Students then direct their own laboratory experience as they safely investigate these testable questions through the use of multiple flame tests.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Calorimetry, Specific Heat | High School

    Lab: The Search for a Hit and Run Suspect

    In this lab, students will determine the specific heat capacity of multiple unknown metal samples through collecting data and completing calorimetric calculations. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if a suspect’s vehicle was potentially involved in a hit and run incident.

  • Temperature, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Heat, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Mega Marshmallows

    In this lab, students will investigate the Kinetic Molecular Theory and particle motion while experimenting with a marshmallow. Students will observe how an increase in kinetic energy will cause particles to increase in motion. This concept will be extended into a discussion about additional real world thermal expansion examples.

  • Atomic Spectra, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Demonstration: Flame Test (Rainbow Demo)

    In this demonstration, students will observe the variety of colors produced when different metals or metallic salts are heated in a flame.

  • Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Law of Conservation of Energy, Bond Energy | High School

    Project: Thermochemistry Infographic

    In this project, students will apply the principles of thermochemistry and thermodynamics to explain real world phenomena by creating an infographic using web based tools.

  • Electricity, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat, Temperature, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Video: The Future of Paint Video

    This video explores the fascinating and innovative scientific advancements of paint. Students will learn how the molecular components in paint are helping to evolve in the world around them. Futuristic paint is capable of replacing light switches, conducting electricity, and regulating temperature amongst other things!

  • Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Video: Color Matching Paint Video

    This video explains how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. Students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

  • Calorimetry, Heat, Hess's Law | High School

    Lesson Plan: Hess’s Law Application

    In this lesson students will determine the ΔHrxn of an unknown reaction using a calorimeter and Hess’s Law.

  • Catalysts, Activation Energy, Molecular Geometry, Resonance, Order of Reaction , Lewis structures, Activation Energy, Energy Diagrams | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Downside to Catalysts - An Exploration of CFC's on the Ozone Layer

    In this lesson students will make observations of a colorful homogenous catalyst and intermediate in a reaction demonstration that will spark their interests. They will then work in teams to analyze graphs and data sets in order to make a real-world connection to AP topics in kinetics such as catalysts, intermediates and reaction mechanisms by exploring how CFCs work to break down the ozone layer. Students will also investigate and discuss this environmental issue.

  • Concentration, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Beer's Law | High School

    Lesson Plan: Using Color to Identify an Unknown

    In this lesson students will utilize spectrophotometry to identify the wavelength of maximum absorbance for a food dye. They will also generate a Beer's Law Standard Curve, and utilize their skills to identify the different dyes and their concentrations in an unknown mixture. The lesson culminates with an extension to utilizing a similar method in color matching paint.

  • Entropy, Gibb's Free Energy , Enthalpy | High School

    Lesson Plan: Enthalpy and Entropy as Driving Forces

    In this activity students observe various chemical and physical processes to qualitatively predict and explain the signs of ∆S and ∆H. Based on their observations, they will predict the sign of ∆G and will determine the driving force of the process. Students will then calculate ∆S, ∆H and ∆G. This lesson focuses on thermochemical predictions, calculations and explanations.

  • Renewable Energy, Electricity, Reduction, Redox Reaction, Oxidation, Photosynthesis, Electron Transfer | High School

    Lesson Plan: Color Solar Power

    In this lesson students will make a dye-sensitized solar cell (also known as DSC or Gratzel cell) using extracts from blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, red cabbage, strawberries, beetroot, spinach and dried hibiscus petals. Students will measure the voltage and the current of various light sources using the created solar cells and then compare the effectiveness of each.

  • Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Let it Glow

    In this lesson students will investigate the fluorescence of a variety of everyday items as well as prepared samples under a black light. Students will examine the concepts of absorption and subsequent emission of photons, as well as wavelength, frequency, and energy of electromagnetic radiation. As extension activities, students will learn about phosphorescence and research real-life applications of photoluminescence.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Structure, Reduction, Redox Reaction, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Law of Conservation of Energy, Oxidation, Half Reactions, Oxidation Number | High School

    Lesson Plan: Fading Away

    In this lesson students will explore photodegradation of color. First, students will view how fading of paint has affected Van Gogh’s great works of art and the efforts that are being taken to conserve these works. While exploring, students will actively engage in research to relate the fading process to redox reactions, X-Ray diffraction, solute-solvent interactions, and light/energy calculations. Students will then act as an Engineering Task Force and brainstorm to identify how photodegradation affects modern day objects and plan how to address their fading in an effort to market to the airliner Jetstar

  • Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Video: What are Pigments? Video

    This video discusses the chemistry of pigment molecules and how they are used to give paints their specific color. Students will learn about the importance of a pigment’s molecular structure, how they are physically suspended to create a paint color, as well as how they interact with light.

  • Mixtures, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Formula, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Video: What is Paint? Video

    This video investigates the composition of paint, while analyzing the fundamental chemistry principles of its main components. Students will learn about the differences between three common paint types, water colors, oil-based and acrylic paint as well as the chemistry of each.

  • Reaction Rate, Reaction Rate, Catalysts, Combustion, Activation Energy | High School

    Demonstration: Rates of Reactions

    In this series of demonstrations, students will be introduced to factors that affect the rates of chemical reactions. They will observe and record their observations, while also describing the rate-influencing factor for each demonstration as well as evidence supporting whether or not the reaction rate was increased or decreased by the factor.

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Grade Level: High School

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