Classroom Resources: Molecules & Bonding


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  • Physical Properties, Physical Change, Culminating Project, Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Mixture, Chemical Properties, Chemical Structure | High School

    Project: Analyze a Family Recipe

    In this project, students will select a family recipe, or a favorite recipe to investigate. They will analyze several of the ingredients in order learn more about the chemistry of each one, as well as their purpose in the recipe. Additionally, students will examine several ingredient interactions to learn more about the chemistry of cooking.

  • Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Polarity, Valence Electrons, Electrostatic Forces, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Electrons, Lewis Structures, Ions | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Bonding

    In this activity, students will use an animation to visualize how different chemical bonds form. Examples of ionic, covalent, and polar covalent bonds are animated, and then students are given a sample of compounds to predict the bonding types.

  • Physical Properties, Periodic Table, Review, Naming Compounds, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, VSEPR Theory, Electron Configuration, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Chemical Change, Subatomic Particles, Molecular Geometry, Lewis Structures | High School

    Activity: Chemistry Review Escape Room

    In this activity, students will work collaboratively to apply their chemistry knowledge in order to “escape the room.” They will work to solve four clues that span a plethora of topics ranging from Atomic Structure all the way up to Stoichiometry. These four clues will point them to four chemical reactions to conduct on a small-scale basis that will correspond with a four-digit combination to a lock. This engaging activity is not only fun for all students but also allows for interactive and collaborative review.

  • Model of the Atom, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Valence Electrons, Lewis Structures | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Chemists in the Lab Game

    In this activity, students will play a game that is modeled after Settlers of Catan to explore how atoms of certain elements combine in fixed ratios to form molecules.

  • Physical Properties, Physical Change, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat, Monomer | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: The World Has a Receipt Problem Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video The World has a Receipt Problem from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the process of thermal printing on receipts, and the limitations related to the paper that currently prints using leuco dyes. This heat-sensitive ink appears when it reacts with an acid developer embedded in the paper. Scientists are working to develop a new kind of thermal receipt paper, that can use the same printers, however it offers many additional benefits and potential uses.

  • Physical Properties, Physical Change, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat, Monomer | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 7: The World has a Receipt Problem

    The receipts you take home from the store – or stuff in your bag, or lose in your car -- employ a printing method that’s been around since the 1970s. Thermal printing involves heat-sensitive inks called leuco dyes that show up when they react with an acid developer embedded in the paper. Not only do these inks fade easily, but receipts that use them aren’t recyclable, and could even be dangerous to your health. Taking a cue from a failed experiment, scientists are developing a new kind of receipt paper that will use the same thermal printers without leuco dyes. Instead of acid developers, this paper is coated in reflective microspheres that collapse under heat, allowing regular ink underneath to show through.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Molecular Structure, Combustion, Molecular Structure | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 5: Making Shipping Greener with Hairy Ships

    The “fouling” of boats — when aquatic animals like barnacles and tubeworms attach to hulls — has been a nuisance for as long as we’ve been sailing the seas. Fouling messes up a vessel’s streamlined shape, decreasing its speed, maneuverability, and in modern times, its fuel-efficiency. Fouling spikes the carbon footprint of the shipping industry, already greater than that of most countries. For centuries, people used copper coatings to prevent fouling. Modern solutions use toxic chemical paints that pollute the water, kill marine life, and contribute to the degradation of our oceans when they wear off. A new approach is trying to work with nature instead of against it. Taking inspiration from the Salvinia plant, which is covered in tiny hair-like structures that make it basically waterproof, scientists are developing a stick-on silicone coating for ships that prevents animal hitchhikers from getting a foothold.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Molecular Structure, Combustion, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: Making Shipping Greener with Hairy Ships Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, Making Shipping Greener with Hairy Ships, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the “fouling” of boats (when aquatic animals like barnacles and tubeworms attach to hulls), and the impact it has on fuel efficiency. Since fouling is a significant contributor to the carbon footprint, this video highlights how scientists were inspired by unique aquatic plants to develop a stick-on silicone coating for ships that prevents animal hitchhikers from getting a foothold.

  • Polymers, Intermolecular Forces, Polymers, Polarity, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: Kill More Germs by Cleaning … Less? Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, Kill More Germs by Cleaning… Less?, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the chemistry of cleaning. Unfortunately, clean doesn’t last as long as you might think—this video examines how disinfectants work and also how long they lasts. Scientists share about the next generation of cleaning products, that keeps the germ-killing ingredients in place and effective much longer.

  • Polymers, Intermolecular Forces, Polymers, Polarity, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 6: Kill More Germs by Cleaning … Less?

    There’s clean, and then there’s CLEAN. Even if something looks clean, it might still be harboring microbes – many of them harmless, some of them definitely not. With most of the ways that we clean and disinfect — that is, kill germs — the clean doesn’t last as long as you might think. Disinfectants work by attacking bacterial membranes and viral protein coats, breaking them down so that those germs fall apart and die. But the germaphobes were always right: As soon as a disinfectant dries, and a surface is re-exposed, like if someone touches or (worse) sneezes on it, it needs be disinfected all over again. The next generation of cleaning products, however, add a trick: they lay down an incredibly thin polymer layer that keeps the germ-killing ingredients in place and effective for 24 hours at a time.

  • Solubility, Ionic Bonding, Solubility Rules, Predicting Products | High School

    Activity: Solubility Rules Dice Game

    In this activity, students will use ion dice to form a number of different ionic compounds. Based on the resulting ionic compound, they will use a solubility chart to determine if it is soluble or insoluble. This game will allow students to become more familiar with ionic compounds and solubility rules.

  • Solubility, Polymers, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 4: How Science Is Fixing Recycling's Grossest Problem

    Polypropylene recycling has a problem: It stinks. Food and other residues are almost impossible to remove entirely from polypropylene, a.k.a the number “5” plastic of grocery-store fame. Those residues – anything from yogurt to garlic, from fish oil to baby food – not only stick to polypropylene, they degrade there and start to smell even worse! Current polypropylene recycling techniques are more down-cycling than re-cycling. Unless you break down its molecules through a highly energy-intensive refining process, the material can only get a second life as a black trash can or an underground pipe – wherever its smell doesn’t matter. But a new technique, called dissolution recycling, is changing all that. Dissolution recycling uses a special hydrocarbon polymer solvent under finely controlled conditions of temperature and pressure to eliminate ALL of the contaminants embedded in the plastic.

  • Solubility, Polymers, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: How Science Is Fixing Recycling's Grossest Problem Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, How Science is Fixing Recycling’s Grossest Problem, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the stinky problems associated with polypropylene recycling. Current polypropylene recycling techniques are more down-cycling than re-cycling, but a new technique, called dissolution recycling, is changing all that.

  • Physical Properties, Polymers, Interdisciplinary, Lab Safety, Polymers, Heat, Temperature, Chemical Properties | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: This Sandwich Will Save Your Life in an Arc Flash Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, This Sandwich will Save your life in an Arc Flash, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the composite fabrics that protect lives of many people, like industrial workers, firefighters, and soldiers. When these workers encounter a fiery situation, they rely on protective clothing, designed using multiple layers of chemistry, to keep them safe.

  • Molecular Structure, Catalysts | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: The Strange Chemistry Behind Why You Get Sick on Planes Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, The Strange Chemistry Behind Why You Get Sick on Planes, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the compound ozone and why it might be responsible for some of the discomforts associated with air travel.

  • Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Chemical Bond, Molecular Structure | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 2: What Birds Know About Color that You Don't

    We’ve been using pigments and dyes for thousands of years, but they’re not the whole story when it comes to making color. “Structural” color occurs when tiny nanostructures interact with light waves, amplifying certain colors and canceling others. From brilliant bird feathers to butterfly wings, mole hairs to octopus skin, structural color is everywhere in the natural world. Researchers have tried for years to harness this incredible natural phenomenon in a useful way. Because these colors are so small and complex, and therefore hard to copy, their efforts have met with little success. But novel research using a computer model based in repeated random sampling — a so-called “Monte Carlo” model — is showing promise. Using this approach, scientists have been able to mimic the gorgeous blue of the mountain bluebird in a thin film of reflective beads, leapfrogging millennia of evolution.

  • Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Chemical Bond, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: What Birds Know About Color that You Don't Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, What Birds Know about Color that You Don’t, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates structural color, its complexities as well as how it differs from pigments and dyes.

  • Molecular Structure, Molecular Formula, Measurements, Molecular Structure , Significant Figures, Saturated vs. Unsaturated | Middle School, High School

    Project: Discovering Chemical Elements in Food

    In this project, students will analyze nutrition labels of some of the foods and drinks that they recently consumed. They will identify which type of macromolecule (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins) is mainly supplied by the item and they will compare their consumption with the daily recommended intake for that type of macromolecule. Students will also investigate salt and added sugar as well as vitamins and minerals in the item. Finally, students will present their findings through short, spoken messages that are recorded and presented through a QR code. These can become a source of information for the school community at large upon completion of the project.

  • Physical Properties, Elements, Intermolecular Forces, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Polymers, Matter, Chemical Properties | Middle School, High School

    Project: The Chemistry of Toys

    In this project, students will study the chemistry behind a toy or novelty item of their choosing. They will look at the parts that make up their item and determine what materials each part is made of; the types of atoms, molecules, and bonds present in those materials; and their physical and chemical properties.

  • Introduction, Molecular Structure, Matter | High School

    Activity: Real World Particle Diagramming

    In this activity, students illustrate everyday objects on the particulate level. To do this, students pick an object around the school (or their home) and then take a picture of the object, research its composition, and draw a particle diagram representation of the object. This helps students to gain confidence in representing matter at a particulate level by starting with familiar objects.

  • Polyatomic Ions, Ionic Bonding | High School

    Activity: Common Ion Memory Game

    In this activity, students will play a modified version of the classic Memory Game in order to help identify common ions by name and symbol. This activity provides an opportunity for students to increase their familiarity with the names and formulas of common ions that they will be expected to properly use when they begin writing chemical formulas and reactions.

  • Separating Mixtures, Density, Polymers, Polymers | High School

    Activity: Identifying Plastics with Density Data

    In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with different types of plastics. Using data analysis, students will determine how to use the density values of a variety of plastic samples in order to separate a specific sample from a mixture.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Structure, Measurements, SI Units | High School

    Activity: Designing an Effective Respiratory Cloth Mask

    In this activity students will use unit conversion to help compare sizes of molecules, viruses, and droplets and then use them to interpret graphical data. They will then use their findings to design a cloth mask that helps protect its wearer against infection by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

  • Elements, Interdisciplinary, Intermolecular Forces, Percent Composition | High School

    Activity: Investigating how the Chemistry of Plate Tectonics Affects Volcanoes

    In this activity, students will learn about the impact chemistry has on plate tectonics and volcanoes. Students will analyze graphs and charts in order to better understand these topics during this investigation.

  • Periodic Table, Atomic Radius, Ionization Energy, Electronegativity | High School

    Activity: Periodic War

    In this activity, students play a card game to apply their knowledge of the periodic trends of the main group elements.

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