Classroom Resources: Quantitative Chemistry


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  • Percent Composition, Concentration | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Homemade Hydrometers

    In this lesson, students will engineer simple hydrometers from straws and clay to learn about standard solutions, calibration, and instrument drift. They will use their hydrometers to test the salinity of samples of natural water.

  • Mole Concept, SI Units | High School

    Activity: Mole Mischief Puzzle

    In this activity, students will analyze a collection of clues and attempt to determine the correct word that corresponds to each one. As a connection to chemistry, each of the answers contain the unit “mol” within the word.

  • Separating Mixtures, Density, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Phase Changes, Introduction, Elements, Physical Change, History, Lab Safety, Molecular Motion, Accuracy, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, SI Units, Chemical Properties, Mixtures | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Chemistry Basics and Measurement Quick Start Unit Plan

    This Quick Start Unit Plan includes all the materials that a teacher will need for the first 10 class meetings of the school year. Each day is outlined with teacher notes, and includes slide presentations as well as directions for demonstrations, activities and labs to use. The fundamental topics covered in the 10 days of lessons are: laboratory safety, laboratory equipment, experimental design, classification of matter, chemical properties, physical properties, chemical change, physical change, phase changes, separation techniques, dimensional analysis, unit conversions, factor label method, accuracy, precision, significant figures, and percent error calculations. This Quick Start Unit plan aims to help students to build a foundation of understanding, and master important topics before moving deeper into the chemistry curriculum.

  • Molecular Formula, Molecular Structure, Measurements, Significant Figures, Molecular Structure , 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.

  • Concentration, Molarity, Measurements, Significant Figures, Beer's Law | High School

    Lab: Investigating Shades of Blue

    In this lab investigation, students will create a copper(II) nitrate solution. Each group will be given a different measurement device in order to see how the accuracy of the preparation of the solution is affected by the limitations of the measurement device. The goal is for students to have a true understanding of why significant figures are important.

  • Accuracy, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Significant Figures, SI Units | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Measurement Tools, Significant Figures and Conversions

    In this activity, students will complete several hands-on measurements, using a variety of common measuring tools. They will carefully consider how to properly report each measurement based on the tool used. Students will then complete measurement conversions, and apply their knowledge of significant figures.

  • Gas Laws, Pressure, Measurements, Molar Mass, Ideal Gas, Partial Pressure, Error Analysis | High School

    Lab: Molar Mass of Butane

    In this lab, students will experimentally determine the molar mass of butane using Dalton’s law and the ideal gas law. They will also calculate the percent error and explain possible sources of error.

  • Calorimetry, Heat, Hess's Law, Enthalpy, Error Analysis | High School

    Lab: Utilizing Hess's Law

    In this lab, students will use a coffee cup calorimeter to collect data that will allow them to calculate ∆H for two reactions. The first reaction, between sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid is endothermic. The second, between sodium carbonate and hydrochloric pressure, is exothermic. They will then use their experimental values and Hess’s Law to determine ∆H for the decomposition of sodium bicarbonate, compare their calculated value to the theoretical value, and calculate the percent error. This resource includes a prelab presentation and sample calculations.

  • Measurements, Scientific Notation, Atomic Radius | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Powers of 10 - How Small Is an Atom?

    In this activity, students will use an online interactive to investigate the size of an atom, and compare the size of the atom to other objects using scientific notation.

  • Percent Composition, Ideal Gas | High School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Popcorn with the Ideal Gas Law

    In this lab, students will collect data to determine the pressure inside a popcorn kernel when it pops using the Ideal Gas Law. They will also calculate the percentage of water present in the average popcorn kernel. This resource includes two versions of the student activity, traditional and inquiry.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Accuracy, Measurements, Significant Figures, Accuracy, Error Analysis, Error Analysis | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Accuracy, Precision, and Error in Measurements

    In this lab, students make measurements of length and width using four measuring tools. They will measure the same object using measuring sticks of different precision. They will observe that the exactness of a measurement is limited by the precision of the measuring instrument.

  • Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Activity: Quantitatively Puzzling

    In this activity, students will analyze sixteen chemistry-based clues and use the numbers, zero through fifteen as possible answer choices for each one. The clues cover content related to measurement, scientific notation, significant digits, atomic structure and the periodic table.

  • Dimensional Analysis, Measurements | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Dimensional Analysis with Notecards

    In this activity, students will practice dimensional analysis using pre-made conversion factors on notecards to demonstrate the importance of canceling units to solve problems.

  • History, Periodic Table, Mole Concept | High School

    Activity: The Mole Crossword Puzzle

    In this activity, students will be challenged with clues that are related to the concept of the mole in order to complete a crossword puzzle.

  • Dimensional Analysis, Measurements | Middle School, High School

    Animation: Measurement Animation

    In this animation, students review the fundamentals of measurement in length, mass, and volume. The animation also provides opportunities for students to practice unit conversions to confirm their understanding. **This video has no audio**

  • Gas Laws, Stoichiometry, Mole Concept | High School

    Lab: Investigating the Self-Inflating Balloon

    In this lab, students will investigate the chemical reaction used in the self-inflating balloon. They will apply their knowledge of gas laws and stoichiometry in order to determine the quantities of reactants used to inflate the balloon.

  • Gas Laws, Pressure, Measurements, Molar Mass, Ideal Gas, Partial Pressure, Error Analysis | High School

    Lab: Determination of the Molar Mass of Butane

    In this lab, students will experimentally determine the molar mass of a gas, specifically butane (C4H10), by collection over water. This experiment is an inquiry based experiment for 2nd year chemistry or AP chemistry students who have previously collected an insoluble gas.

  • Dimensional Analysis, Measurements | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Measurement

    In this animation, students will become familiar with three forms of measurement, including length, mass and volume. Various units of measurement will be presented for comparison, and several conversion calculations will be demonstrated using dimensional analysis.

  • Measurements, Significant Figures, SI Units | High School

    Activity: Investigating Significant Figures through Inquiry

    In this activity, students will develop an understanding of why significant figures are important in chemistry and learn how to determine the number of significant figures in a measurement.

  • Observations, Physical Properties, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Matter, Chemical Properties, Mixtures | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Cupcake Conversions, Bench to Bakery

    This activity will help to reinforce the importance of scientific measurement and apply it to the introduction of chemical reactions. Using an example of baking a single batch of cupcakes, students will plan for a larger production scale in a commercial bakery. This will help to introduce the idea of producing a reaction at the lab bench and converting it to mass production. In addition this activity investigates how chemistry is used in everyday life and challenges students to consider potentials errors that may occur when completing chemical reactions in the kitchen.

  • Physical Change, Dimensional Analysis, Measurements, Matter, Mixtures | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Cooking with Conversions

    In this activity, students will be given a common homemade recipe for German chocolate cake with measurements in English units. They will be asked to convert the English ingredients list to metric units through scientific calculations. Students will also be asked to identify the ingredients as solid, liquid or gas. While reviewing the cooking procedures, students will classify certain steps as containing compounds or mixtures as well as identify whether chemical or physical changes are taking place. The culinary chemistry involved in this lesson should be introduced throughout the activity.

  • Dimensional Analysis, Measurements | High School

    Activity: Unit Conversions and Scaling Up

    In this activity, students will convert between English and metric units in order to scale from research lab (small) scale to manufacturing (large) scale. Students will also apply critical thinking skills in order to analyze data given and evaluate cost effectiveness.

  • Stoichiometry, Mole Concept, Dimensional Analysis | High School

    Activity: A Stoichiometry Puzzle

    In this activity, students will develop a better understanding of how to set up a stoichiometry problem using dimensional analysis (factor label method). Students will be able to use their prior knowledge of mole conversions and chemical reactions.

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