Two More New Resources from the 2018 AACT AP Chemistry Content Writing Team

By Kim Duncan on October 1, 2018


This past summer AACT hosted an AP Chemistry Content Writing Team to create AP chemistry focused teaching resources for our High School Classroom Resource Library. The four teachers chosen focused on creating teaching resources directly related to the Learning Objectives for the topics of intermolecular forces, photoelectron spectroscopy, Coulomb’s Law, electrolysis, reaction mechanisms, and kinetics. This week we are publishing two more resources from two of our content team members.

Introduction to PES

Rose Dunlap, a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee focused on Big Idea 1 for her first lesson, specifically Learning Objectives 1.7 and 1.8. In her lesson plan, Introduction to PES, students learn how to interpret simple photoelectron spectroscopy spectra by incorporating their knowledge of electron configurations, periodic trends, and Coulomb’s law. In addition to extensive teacher notes and student answer keys, this lesson provides links to PES related questions that have been on the AP exam since 2014.

Day 1 of the lesson is a brief introduction to Photoelectron Spectroscopy through a guided inquiry activity. Students begin with a Khan Academy reading, Photoelectric Effect, which explains how experiments about the photoelectric effect led to the theory that light behaves as an energy particle. They then use the PhET simulation, Photoelectric Effect, to help them visualize the phenomena and the experiment that led to the new ideas about light. The day ends with another Khan Academy reading, Photoelectron Spectroscopy, which introduces PES and how the spectrum is related to electron configuration.

On Day 2, students further explore PES using images and spectra provided by Rose and learn how to relate them to the electron configuration of different elements. This activity also includes information about the binding energy of electrons in different energy levels. An additional activity that provides more practice analyzing PES spectra and graphs about binding energy is provided for Day 3 of this lesson.

Pes graph ap1

Exploration of Intermolecular Forces

Ryan Johnson, a teacher at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado concentrated on Learning Objectives 2.1, 2.11, and 2.16 for his lesson plan, An Exploration of Intermolecular Forces. The lesson includes an introductory activity to engage your students, followed by a lab activity to help them elaborate on the topic.

The introductory engagement activity, Floating Inks, elicits student ideas about intermolecular forces and the attractive forces between molecules within solutions. It also includes a review of the different types of intermolecular forces (ion-ion, ion-dipole, dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonding, London Dispersion forces) and their relative strengths. After review, students observe the interaction between water and acetone with different types of ink.

Prior to completing the lab, students draw the structures of all of the molecular compounds that they will observe during the lab and identify the intermolecular forces present in each. They then use that information to rank the substances in order of likely boiling points from lowest to highest. Students then have to design a procedure for constructing an “evaporation apparatus” that will allow them to observe and collect data about the evaporation rate of each substance. Post-lab questions, similar to AP Free-Response Questions, are provided to assess student understanding.

Imf ap2

We hope that you find these resources useful with your AP Chemistry classes. If you missed the AP resource from this team that were published in September, you can find them here. More great AP resources created by this content writing team will be published November and December. If you have an AP Chemistry resource that you’d like to share with the AACT community, please send it along for consideration.