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Category: Chemistry


Chemistry Flame Test Lab

How are fireworks made? If you took chemistry in college, one of the labs you likely remember most is the famous flame test experiment. In this experiment, different unknown metals are burned and students will identify the metal based on the color of the flame. How does it work? Heating

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Periodic Table

The beginning of the school year for chemistry teachers means… #1: atomic structure, and #2: how to read the periodic table. Looking for some fresh ideas? Here is a list of resources you can use to introduce and explore the periodic table.  1. ORGANIZING A STORE: Before diving into the

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Periodic Table Bingo

While I’m not a fan of making students memorize anything on the periodic table, the more familiar they are with it the easier it is for them to use. Do I expect them to know the atomic number of carbon is 6? No, but it’s helpful if they know the

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Conservation of Mass Experiments

The law of conservation of mass states that mass in a closed system will not change before and after a chemical reaction. Mass isn’t created or destroyed, it just moves places. Seems simple enough, but this law can be difficult to demonstrate. It seems nearly impossible to get PERFECT data

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Introducing Diffusion with Smelly Balloons

Diffusion is a topic that is covered in biology (when we introduce cell membranes) and chemistry (particle movement and kinetic theory). I came across this “smelly balloons” activity on Flinn’s website and thought it was such a fun way to introduce diffusion. In this activity, students will smell balloons that have

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States of Matter and Phase Changes

States of matter is a topic that is covered in middle school, and reviewed again in high school chemistry with more depth. I’ve compiled some resources to help you teach this concept! Take a peek! FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL 1. I created this powerpoint when I taught phase changes to my

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Polarity and Electronegativity Teaching Resources

Even though I have taught life science most of my career and not physical science, I still feel it is important for students to understand polarity and electronegativity. If students don’t understand polarity, they won’t understand why the cell membrane has a hydrophobic and hydrophilic region. Understanding polarity also helps

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Case Study of Lake Nyos

One of my favorite case studies to examine with students is the tragedy that occurred at Lake Nyos. Located in Camaroon, Africa, Lake Nyos is a lake that formed in a volcanic crater. While villagers thought the volcano was dormant, it was slowly releasing carbon dioxide into the lake. One

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Teaching pH in a snap!

pH…. one of those chemistry topics that us biology teachers get to teach. In biology I don’t make my students calculate pH and pOH values, but they need to understand what pH is and why maintaining a healthy pH in your body is so important. You may love biochemistry, or

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