Learn first-hand the fundamental principles of this essential science as you perform real chemistry experiments. For example, you will experiment with fuels and combustion, make your own hydrochloric acid, separate mixtures, produce oxygen gas, and more. You’ll also split the water molecule, fire copper ions across a solution, capture oxide gases, create a magnesium battery, and more with this lesson in chemistry. You’ll also be able to identify the elements in different chemical substances with dazzling colors in flame tests. In doing these experiments, you will build a strong foundation in chemistry as you are exposed to a broad range of chemical phenomena and hands-on lab experience. As you gain experience with the tools and chemicals of the modern chemistry lab, you with also learn advanced topics such as chemical equations, atomic structures and the periodic table — concepts that are critical to continued study of chemistry. Chemistry is chocked full of demonstrations and experiments for two big reasons. First, they’re fun. But more importantly, the reason we do experiments in chemistry is to hone your observational skills. Chemistry experiments really speak for themselves, much better than I can ever put into words or show you on a video. And I’m going to hit you with a lot of these chemistry demonstrations to help you develop your observing techniques.
Here are the scientific concepts:
- Elements and their combinations account for all the varied types of matter in the world.
- During chemical reactions, the atoms in the reactants rearrange to form products with different properties.
- All matter is made of atoms, which may combine to form molecules.
- Metals have properties in common, such as electrical and thermal conductivity. Some metals, such as aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), silver (Ag), gold (Au), are pure elements while others, such as steel and brass, are composed of a combination of elemental metals.
- Each element is made of one kind of atom. These elements are organized in the Periodic Table by their chemical properties.
- Scientists have developed instruments that can create images of atoms and molecules showing that they are discrete and often occur in well ordered arrays.
- Differences in chemical and physical properties of substances are used to separate mixtures and identify compounds.
- Properties of solid, liquid, and gaseous substances, such as sugar (C6H12O6), water (H2O) helium (He), oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2),and carbon dioxide (CO2).
- Living organisms and most materials are composed of just a few elements.
- Common properties of salts, such as sodium chloride (NaCl).
- Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means. A model shows that gases are made from matter particles that are too small to see and are moving freely around in space can explain many observations, including the inflation and shape of a balloon; the effects of air on larger particles or objects.
- The amount (weight) of matter is conserved when it changes form, even in transitions in which it seems to vanish.
- Measurements of a variety of properties can be used to identify materials. (Boundary: At this grade level, mass and weight are not distinguished, and no attempt is made to define the unseen particles or explain the atomic-scale mechanism of evaporation and condensation.)
- When two or more different substances are mixed, a new substance with different properties may be formed.
- No matter what reaction or change in properties occurs, the total weight of the substances does not change. (Boundary: Mass and weight are not distinguished at this grade level.)
By the end of the labs in this unit, students will be able to:
- Design and build a desalination experiment using everyday materials.
- Know how to demonstrate electroplating using ions and electrolytes.
- Understand how to determine a catalyst in a reaction.
- Build batteries from fertilizer.
- Differentiate observation from inference (interpretation) and know scientists’ explanations come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations.
- Measure and estimate the length and volume of objects.
- Formulate and justify predictions based on cause-and-effect relationships.
- Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction and draw conclusions about the relationships between predictions and results.
- Construct and interpret graphs from measurements.
- Follow a set of written instructions for a scientific investigation.