More AACT Resources to Help Plan Your Post-Exam Activities
By Kim Duncan on May 3, 2017
Once the AP Chemistry exam has come and gone, many teachers are left with four or more weeks of planning to keep their students engaged. Many use that time to focus on labs that they might not have had time to complete earlier in the school year. Others focus on content, such as organic or nuclear chemistry, that are not part of the AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description. Others decide to mix things up and engage their students with long term projects. Here are some suggestions for post-exam activities that you might like to use with your classes.
If you’ve decided to teach some organic chemistry to your students, have them turn vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel with our Soap or Fuel? lab. The reactions involved in this activity emphasize that the products of a reaction are under the control of the chemist. By the end of this lab, your students should be able to recognize carboxylic acid and carboxylate ester functional groups and write balanced chemical equations for saponification and transesterification of a fatty acid ester. This lab was created by a participant from the 2015 Dow-AACT Teacher Summit in Midland, Michigan.
Many students are interested in learning more about environmental chemistry after they have taken chemistry and biology. Have your students investigate the chemistry of acid rain through web based research with the Investigating Acid Rain activity. They will have the opportunity to observe the reaction between common acids and materials in a week-long simulation and then relate their findings to the effects of acid rain. By the end of this activity your students will be able to describe the components of acid rain as well as its effects on various environments. They will also interpret observations of chemical change in an acid reaction. This lab was also created by a participant from the 2015 Dow-AACT Teacher Summit in Midland, Michigan.
Most of your students have access to many different types of electronic equipment, but few actually know what powers them. What Powers Your World? is an activity that will allow your students to assess the battery power sources for electronic devices they use each day, and then relate the information back to their study of oxidation-reduction reactions and electrochemistry. Students will be able to make connections between their everyday world with redox reactions and electrochemistry, understand the role of a variety of different batteries in daily life, and determine advantages and disadvantages of different battery types. This is self-guided learning opportunity which has been designed to allow students to investigate the real-world application of the electrochemistry that they have already learned about.
Another hot topic for high school students is cars! Our 2016 Ford sponsored “Chemistry of Cars” resource collection is a comprehensive and rigorous set of lessons, labs, activities, and videos. The collection includes lessons related to an automobile’s radiator, battery, engine, fuel, cooling system, exhaust system, and materials. You can learn how the resource collection was created, investigate all the classroom resources and see the many connections to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in a featured article from the September 2016 issue of Chemistry Solutions written by a teacher who served as the project’s lead content writer.
Do you have a great post AP exam project that you would like to share with the community? We are proud to feature teacher-submitted activities in the classroom resources collection. If you want to share something you use in your classroom with the community, please send it along for consideration.