Using AACT Resources to Teach Equilibrium Topics
By Kim Duncan on March 17, 2016
There are so many different concepts in the AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework that fall under the umbrella of Chemical Equilibrium that AP Chemistry teachers need to cover.There are also many learning objectives about the topic in Big Idea 6: Any bond or intermolecular attraction that can be formed can be broken.These two processes are in a dynamic competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external pertubations.
The AACT resource library holds many different classroom activities that you can use with your students to teach these concepts.
- The Dynamic Equilibrium Simulation lab is a great way to introduce the topic to your classes. In the lab, students can explore the concept using paper clips to mimic a chemical reaction. This activity will help them better understand what it means for a system to reach equilibrium.
- In the Equilibrium Animation, students will visualize the hydrolysis of water and the equilibrium of the dissolving of calcium carbonate and water.
- In the November 2014 issue of Chemistry Solutions Rebecca Sansom, an assistant professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Brigham Young University, discusses two activities that will help students understand the concept of dynamic equilibrium in her article, “Uncovering Student Thinking through the Science Literacy Framework”.
- In the Le Châtelier’s Principle demo students will observe a system at equilibrium, apply stresses to see how equilibrium shifts, and use Q to see if a reaction has reached equilibrium.
- One challenging concept for students is how temperature changes affect the value of the equilibrium constant for endo- or exothermic reaction. The Reversible Reactions Simulation activity uses a PhET simulation to help students investigate how temperature, activation energy, and initial concentration of products and reactions affect the equilibrium position of a reaction.
Do you have a great AP demonstration, activity, or lesson about any topics relating to Chemical Equilibrium that you would like to share with the community? We are proud to feature teacher-submitted activities in the classroom resource collection. If you want to share something you use in your classroom with the community, please send it along for consideration.