Using New AACT Resources to Help Teach Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry

By Kim Duncan on February 20, 2020

As chemistry teachers plan activities for their students, AACT will highlight resources from our high school library that help to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. Our last news post highlighted resources from our high school library that support an Aqueous Solutions unit. We will now focus on lessons and other activities for a Thermodynamics unit.

Many teachers start their thermodynamic unit with a study of heat transfer, specific heat capacity, and calorimetry. These topics were covered in our January 23, 2020 news post about Phase Changes and Heat Transfer.

Since our original post in April 2018 and February 2019, we have added one new resource that you might consider trying with your students. Use the lab, Investigating Enthalpy and Entropy to allow your students to observe and measure energy changes during the formation of solutions. This activity will teach students to explain and describe these changes in terms of entropy, enthalpy and free energy. Additionally, we have updated a unit plan that uses many of our resources to help you teach a unit on Thermodynamics. This includes endothermic and exothermic processes, enthalpy, Hess’s Law, entropy, and free energy.

We hope that these activities can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about thermochemistry and thermodynamics. 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.