Classroom Resources: Organic Chemistry


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  • 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.

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

    Lab: The Chemistry of Hand Sanitizer and Soap

    In this lab, students will model the interaction between hand sanitizer particles and virus particles, as well as between soap particles and virus particles. They will apply their understanding of molecular structure and intermolecular forces to analyze their observations and behavior of the particles, in order to gain a better understanding of how soaps and sanitizers work.

  • Balancing Equations, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups | High School

    Lab: Esterfication

    In this lab, students will make at least six esters from different combinations of available organic acids and alcohols. In addition, they will attempt to identify the scent of each ester that is created.

  • Renewable Energy, Balancing Equations, Conservation of Mass, Chemical Change, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups | High School

    Lab: Soap or Fuel?

    In this lab, students will transform vegetable oil into a soft soap and into biodiesel fuel. The two reactions emphasize that the products of a chemical reaction are under the control of the chemist. By noting the relationship of the reaction product to the reactants, students will gain a deeper understanding of the law of conservation of matter.

  • Reduction, Redox Reaction, Classification of Reactions, Chemical Change, Functional Groups | High School

    Lab: Silver Test Tube Holiday Ornament

    In this lab, students will carry out a reduction reaction in order to create a silver-plated test tube that can be used as a holiday ornament.

  • Cracking, Combustion, Chemical Change, Functional Groups | High School

    Demonstration: Cracking Reaction

    In this demo, students will witness a cracking reaction. They will verify the products by exposing the products to three side reactions.

  • Observations, Identifying an Unknown, Pharmaceuticals, Functional Groups, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lab: Over the Counter Drugs

    In this lab, students will do some research about common over the counter drugs and then carry out some chemical tests to learn more about their composition. They will then identify an unknown drug sample.

  • Condensation, Chemical Change, Functional Groups, Lewis Structures | High School

    Lab: Condensation Reaction

    In this lab, students will use Lewis structures to explain the mechanism of an organic condensation reaction between a carboxylic acid and an alcohol, also known as an esterification reaction.

  • Molecular Formula, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups, Oxidation, Saturated vs. Unsaturated | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chocolate: The New Health Food

    Explore emergency lesson plans from ChemMatters magazine.

  • Molecular Formula, History, Covalent Bonding, Molecular Structure, Functional Groups | High School

    Activity: Napoleon's Buttons Writing Assignment

    In this activity, students read Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson’s book Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History. They discuss the book in class and complete a written assignment based on the chemistry and history highlighted in the book.

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Subtopics: Functional Groups

Grade Level: High School

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