Classroom Resources: Solutions


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  • Solubility, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Advanced Modeling of the Dissolving Phenomenon

    In this activity students build a model of sodium chloride based on their own knowledge of ionic compounds. Then they construct a model of the interactions between water and their salt model to develop an understanding of what caused the salt to dissolve. After refining their models based upon class discussions and critiques, students then construct a model of the interaction between salt and a different solvent, alcohol. Using their models, students make predictions as to which solvent (water or alcohol) would be better at dissolving the salt. Finally students design an experiment to test their prediction. As an extension, students are asked to use their solubility models to explain why calcium carbonate will not dissolve in water, even though it is also an ionic compound.

  • Solubility, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Basic Modeling of the Dissolving Phenomenon

    In this activity, students explore the process of salt dissolving in water using cut-outs of ions and water molecules to model interactions between them. They then use their model to make a prediction about the relative solubility of salt in isopropyl alcohol compared to the solubility in water and design an experiment to test their prediction.

  • Net Ionic Equation, Classification of Reactions, Chemical Change, Solubility Rules | High School

    Demonstration: Precipitation Reaction

    In this demonstration, students will observe a precipitation reaction. Students will create several particle diagrams in order to describe and fully understand what is occurring on the atomic level during the chemical reaction.

  • pH, Net Ionic Equation, Indicators, Strong vs Weak, Salts | High School

    Lab: Hydrolysis of Salts

    In this lab, students will observe the hydrolysis of several salt samples. They will first predict which solutions are acidic, basic or neutral, and then discover the pH of each through the use of indicators. Students will share and compile their experimental results, as well as have an opportunity to determine the net-ionic equations for each reaction.

  • Net Ionic Equation, Balancing Equations, Stoichiometry, Redox Reaction, Classification of Reactions, Net Ionic Equation | High School

    Lab: Inquiry Redox Investigation

    In this lab, students perform a simple redox reaction using an iron nail and copper(II) chloride solution. They will consider both quantitative and qualitative data collected during the reaction in order to attempt to explain what happened. Students will also create particle diagrams and determine mole ratios of various species in the reaction.

  • Concentration, pH, Acid & Base Theories | High School

    Lesson Plan: Calculating pH, A Look at Logarithms

    In this lesson, students will be introduced to a base-10 logarithmic scale and use it to calculate pH from hydrogen ion concentration. Often students are able to calculate pH by pushing the correct buttons on their calculators, but they don’t understand what the values mean. This lesson attempts to bridge that gap using a guided inquiry model.

  • Mixtures, Melting Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Freezing Point Depression | Middle School, High School

    Lab: How does Salt "Melt" Ice?

    In this lab, students will consider why salt is used to aide in snow clearing and to help keep icy roads safe. They will investigate how salt ‘melts’ ice and determine the best type of salt to do so. Additionally, students will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various different types of salt.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Physical Change, Intermolecular Forces | High School

    Demonstration: Intermolecular Forces & Physical Properties

    In this demonstration, students observe and compare the properties of surface tension, beading, evaporation, and miscibility for water and acetone.

  • Concentration, Molarity | High School

    Activity: Particle Level Molarity

    In this activity, students are introduced to molarity at the particle level. Students will activate their prior knowledge by demonstrating their understanding of concentration by preparing several Kool-Aid drinks, and then applying that information at the particle level to various models.

  • 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.

  • Precipitate, Reaction Rate, Reduction, Redox Reaction, Chemical Change, Oxidation, Solubility Rules | High School

    Lesson Plan: Removing Copper Stains from Masonry

    In this lab, students investigate the use of milk of magnesia poultice to remove copper stains on masonry in copper architecture. They use chalk as the model for masonry, copper(II) chloride solution as a model for soluble copper and a freshly prepared slurry of copper phosphate as a model for a hard stain of copper on masonry. Through a series of investigations students have the opportunity to connect chemistry topics with real-world applications, such as environmental hazards, engineering practices of copper architecture, corrosion control, and structural protection.

  • Precipitate, Electron Configuration, Valence Electrons, Balancing Equations, Classification of Reactions, Solubility Rules, Electrons | High School

    Lesson Plan: Transition Metals Color the World

    In this lesson students will complete a series of double replacement reactions to form precipitates. The precipitates will be used as a pigment to create paint.

  • Separating Mixtures, Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Solute & Solvent | High School

    Lesson Plan: What Type of Mixture is Paint?

    In this lesson students will use simple laboratory tests to characterize differences between solutions, colloids, and suspensions. They will then apply those tests to paints to classify them as specific types of mixtures.

  • Concentration, Reaction Rate, Reduction, Redox Reaction, Chemical Change, Oxidation, Beer's Law | High School

    Lesson Plan: Rustbusters! A Lab Activity on Corrosion

    In this lesson students learn about factors affecting the rate of corrosion and evaluate the efficiency of different protective coatings to simulate products used in industry when building metal structures like ships or bridges.

  • Physical Properties, Concentration, Beer's Law | High School

    Lesson Plan: Introduction to Color

    In this lesson students explore the properties related to color and how those properties vary with changes in concentration. This lesson introduces the use of a spectrophotometer to measure wavelength and absorbance in colored solutions as well as the use of Beer’s Law to determine an unknown concentration.

  • Precipitate, Net Ionic Equation, Classification of Reactions, Solubility Rules | High School

    Lesson Plan: Do it Yourself Color

    In this lesson students will use solubility rules to predict whether the product of a double displacement or metathesis reaction will produce a precipitate. Students will then investigate a series of reactions to verify solubility rules. Finally students will determine the identity of unknown solutions based on experimental evidence.

  • 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.

  • Concentration, Reversible Reactions, Le Châtelier's Principle | High School

    Lab: Le Chatelier’s Soda

    In this lab, students will observe how the equilibrium of a chemical reaction is affected when a change in pressure, temperature, and concentration is applied to the system.

  • Concentration, pH, Molarity, Titrations, Indicators | High School

    Demonstration: How to Perform a Titration

    In this demonstration, the teacher will show how a titration is set-up and performed. Also, the teacher will utilize different indicators to show how they work and why they are necessary. At the end of the demonstration, the teacher will also explain how to calculate the molarity of the unknown substance.

  • Observations, Mixtures, Inferences, Intermolecular Forces, Scientific Method | High School

    Lab: Magic Milk

    In this lab, students will investigate the addition of detergent to a mixture of whole milk and food coloring. Students will attempt to explain the cause of their observations. Also, students will have the opportunity to manipulate the experiment and determine how other variables may impact the results.

  • Solubility, pH, Molecular Structure, Buffers | High School

    Lab: Aspirin Tablets: Are they all the Same?

    In this lab, students will design an experiment to test the time and completeness of dissolution of various types of aspirin in different pH environments.

  • Solubility, Solute & Solvent | High School, Middle School

    Lab: What's the Solution?

    In this lab students will choose one factor that can affect the rate at which a solute will dissolve into solution –amount of stirring, temperature, or particle size, and will design a procedure that can be used to determine how it will affect rate of solution. Students will identify one of the factors above as the independent variable and will determine how it affects the solubility rate as supported by time required to dissolve the solute.

  • Solubility, Solute & Solvent | High School

    Demonstration: Root Beer Chemistry

    In this demonstration, students will understand the factors affecting solubility of both a solid and a gas in a liquid through the process of making root beer.

  • pH, Ionic Bonding, Net Ionic Equation | High School

    Lab: The pH of Salts

    In this lab, students will determine whether an aqueous solution is acidic, basic, or neutral. Students will write net ionic equations for the hydrolysis of a solution.

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