New AACT Resources to Help Teach Chemical Measurements

By Kim Duncan on September 5, 2019

As chemistry teachers around the country plan activities for their students, AACT will be highlighting resources from our high school resource library that can be used to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. Our last post highlighted resources that could be used to support a Chemistry Basics unit. We will now focus on articles, videos, simulations, and activities that could be used in a Chemical Measurements unit.

Since our original post in the fall of 2017, we have added a few more resources that you might consider trying with your students. We followed up in August 2018 with new resources related to the same topic. Since then, we have again added more resources that you might consider trying with your students. Additionally, we have updated our unit plan to help you teach a unit on chemical measurements.

Our newest animation, Measurement, allows students to review the fundamentals of measurement in length, mass, and volume. Various units of measurement will be presented for comparison, and several conversion calculations will be demonstrated using dimensional analysis.

After covering the topic of density, you may want to use the lab, Colors of the Rainbow to assess your students’ understanding of the concept of density. In this lab, students calculate the density of several unknown liquids and then use their findings to build a density column. There are eight unknown solutions that are grouped nine different ways, so that each of the lab groups will have a unique combination of liquids to build their density column.

Many students struggle with the concept of unit measurement and need extra practice. We have three new resources that can be used to give your students the extra problems they need to develop this important skill:

  • Students use data from the NASA Science Solar System Exploration website to practice dimensional analysis calculations with the activity, Chemistry is Out of This World. This resource was created for the 2018 National Chemistry Week, which focused on the chemistry of and in outer space.
  • The activity, Cupcake Conversions, Bench to Bakery helps to reinforce the importance of scientific measurement and calculations. Using an example of baking a single batch of cupcakes, students will plan for a larger production scale in a commercial bakery.
  • Students can practice converting between English and metric units in order to scale from research lab (small) scale to manufacturing (large) scale with the Unit Conversions and Scaling Up activity. They then apply critical thinking skills in order to analyze data given and evaluate cost effectiveness.

We hope that these activities can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about chemical measurements. Most of these lessons were made possible by great teachers who shared their own resources. We need your help to keep the collection growing. Do you have a great demonstration, activity, or lesson related to this topic that you would like to share with the community? Please send it along for consideration.