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Teacher Modules

Teacher and CSERD approved

The following modules were created by ICLCS teachers, tested with their students, and refined for distribution here. Depending on the module the zip files for download typically contain teacher plans, presentation slides, student worksheets, assessments, computational activiites and more.

The modules have been reviewed for inclusion in the Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD), a Pathway portal of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). They have been vetted through CSERD's verification, validation, and accreditation review process (VV&A). For more information see: http://www.shodor.org/cserd/.

 

Bonding Basics

This module contains material that can be used to teach students about ionic and covalent compounds and how they each form bonds. Tools include online applets and WebMO.

Download Bonding Basics (zip file)


 

Biological Molecules

This module stresses to students the importance of how structure fits function for biological molecules. It also explains how chemical properties affect the shape and function of biological molecules, particularly polypeptides, in a variety of situations. Topics such as polarity, cellular interactions, hydrophobic/hydrophilic interactions, and neurotransmitters are discussed.

Download Biological Molecules (zip file)


 

Titrations

This series of activities assists students with basic acid/base titrations. It includes a virtual titration simulator to acquaint students with the titrating process, and then an online titration with a pH meter to help students relate volumes of acids and bases to the concept of pH. These activities help students with concepts that they frequently struggle with, including relating equivalence point and endpoint, and learning how to find the endpoint when doing a titration wet lab.

Download Titrations (zip file)


 

Stoichiometry of S'mores and More

These activities introduce students to stoichiometry through both concrete real world examples and experiments with chemical reactions. Students begin by making S'mores to begin to visualize the idea of a limiting reactant. Next, they use Excel to look at the stoichiometry of the reaction between calcium chloride and sodium phosphate. A wet lab supports or complements this activity. This module also contains a variety of real life stoichiometry examples and exercises.

Download Stoichiometry of S'mores and More (zip file)


 

Introduction to Stoichiometry

This module serves as a slow introduction to stoichiometry, focusing on elements that students typically find to be most challenging to learn. Students learn and do stoichiometry in terms of concrete objects, like nuts and bolts and recipes to make sense of reactions and ratios of products to reactants. Similarly, the module provides activities related to combustion to allow students to work on unit conversions and apply them to everyday reactions. Optional extensions begin to introduce limiting reactants through presentations and demonstrations.

Download Introduction to Stoichiometry (zip file)


 

Plunge Into Stoichiometry

This module provides stoichiometry activities that can be incorporated into an existing unit on stoichiometry. Students watch applets demonstrating balancing equations, and then can practice balancing equations using ChemSketch. Similarly, students use a wet lab combining Mg ribbon and HCl. Then, they can graph their findings using an Excel activity. Finally, students explore the stoichiometric reactions of airbags in order to relate chemistry to real life applications and experiences.

Download Plunge Into Stoichiometry (zip file)


 

Speeds & Mechanisms

This module has activities focusing mainly on reaction mechanisms and reaction rates. Includes tools such as Excel and Powerpoint. Also contains student assessments and labs at the basic and AP level.

Download Speeds & Mechanisms (zip file)


 

The Chemistry of Air Pollution

This module focuses on how kinetics applies to air pollution. Includes tools such as Vensim to model smog production and online applets to aid visualizations.

Download The Chemistry of Air Pollution (zip file)


 

Visualizing Reactions

This module contains demonstrations and labs associated with visualizing chemical kinetics concepts. A student assessment is included.

Download Visualizing Reactions (zip file)


 

Stoichiometry Sandwich

This module introduces students to stoichiometry with many interactive labs which relate limiting reactant and stoichiometry content to daily life. The module includes labs which cover limiting reactants, balancing equations, unit conversions, and stoichiometry exercises in general. Many lab activities involve students working with food and recipes, which makes a good parallel to help understand stoichiometry.

Download Stoichiometry Sand-wich (zip file)


 

EXCELlent Stoichiometry

This module provides a variety of activities for students to explore stoichiometry, both traditionally and with alternative labs. Excel activities are a major part of this module; students use them to calculate mole ratios and to appreciate the amount of products and reactants involved in general chemical reactions. Students also get experience and practice in balancing equations and in working with titrations.

Download EXCELlent Stoichiometry (zip file)


 

Visualizing Stoichiometry

This module uses a variety of visual activities to help students get better acquainted with the ideas of stoichiometry and determining limiting reactants. Students can work on balancing equations by seeing representations of molecules, and can use various applets to explore the stoichiometry of many common reactions, including combustion reactions. This module also addresses many difficulties students frequently have in stoichiometry, including identifying limiting reactants and understanding conversions from mass to moles and back.

Download Visualizing Stoichiometry (zip file)


 

Nomenclature

This basic four part module introduces students to the variety of ways to name simple compounds and molecules. The four parts include basic binary molecules, polyatomic ions, binary covalent compounds using ChemSketch, and an inquiry computational activity which helps students name acids. The acid section of the module serves as an inquiry activity and requires students to devise a set of rules for naming common acids, and support their rules using various tests.

Download Nomenclature (zip file)


 

Discovering Equilibrium

This series of activities helps students to become better acquainted with the ideas of chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier's principle. A detailed presentation provides animations which make concrete analogies for each principle, including possibilities for a class snowball fight. Finally, students perform activities and virtual labs based on applets simulating various states of chemical equilibrium.

Download Discovering Equilibrium (zip file)


 

Climbing Mount Everest

This series of activities allows students to use the idea of chemical equilibrium to solve real world problems and to predict equilibrium shifts using Le Chatelier's principle. Students use an applet to simulate hemoglobin and oxygen levels on a trek up Mt. Everest. Also, students observe equilibrium reactions in order to better visualize equilibrium concentrations as a reaction progresses. Connecting these real-time simulations allows students to better grasp the difficult concepts of chemical equilibrium and equilibrium constant calculations.

Download Climbing Mount Everest(zip file)


 

Equilibrium Calculations

This series of activities provides a guided inquiry experience so that students can work through understanding the challenges that equilibrium provides. Students use Vensim and Molecular Workbench to work though equilibrium conceptually. Also included are equilibrium activities related to acids and bases. Included models introduce students to the concept of the equilibrium constant and allow them to work with a variety of calculation methods and styles.

Download Equilibrium Calculations (zip file)


 

Equilibrium Dogfight

This module provides a variety of activities suitable for high school classes learning about equilibrium. First, it provides presentations and simple examples of equilibrium systems through basic demos and data. Next, the class is engaged in a “dogfight” throwing paper airplanes back and forth to show rates of reaction. Other activities include web animations of equilibrium systems and virtual lab titration. More advanced classes can begin to work with more advanced pKa calculations via titration simulators.

Download Equilibrium Dogfight (zip file)


 

Straighten Up: Lose Those Electrons!

This module uses a variety of computational tools to help students discover and manipulate the shapes of a variety of common molecules. It begins with a “penny lab” which demonstrates the correlation between intermolecular forces and surface tension. Following this basic lab, students begin to explore molecular structure by using simple WebMO and ChemSketch activities. These activities introduce students to VSEPR theory and general shapes of molecules.

Download Straighten Up: Lose Those Electrons!(zip file)


 

Mystery Molecules

This module focuses on having students perform a project using WebMO and ChemSketch to research properties of various molecules based on given Lewis structures. PowerPoint is also utilized.

Download Mystery Molecules(zip file)


 

The Chemistry of Sunscreen

This module focuses on the structure of sunscreen molecules and how they protect our skin from UV radiation. Tools include ChemSketch and WebMO.

Download The Chemistry of Sunscreen(zip file)


 

Molecular Structure & Polarity

This module focuses on dipole moments and polarity, and why geometry is affected by both. WebMO is included in addition to an assessment.

Download Molecular Structure & Polarity(zip file)


 

Molecular Geometry of Materials

This module is a very comprehensive look into molecular geometry and approaches it from a variety of angles. Using computational tools, there are activities which involve students in building and viewing structures in WebMO, ChemSketch, and Molecular Workbench. Additionally, students may work on 2D and 3D real life activities including Lewis structures and visualizing basic tetrahedral and octahedral patterns. This module also goes more in depth and includes readings and visualizations of molecules and their molecular orbitals as they are spatially oriented.

Download Molecular Geometry of Materials(zip file)


 

Solving the Stockroom Problem

This module is an introduction to molecular geometry which balances hands-on lab activities with the use of computational tools. Students do a “penny lab” to look at the differences between intermolecular forces in polar and nonpolar solvents. Then, they do a “stockroom lab” which provides a real world view into a problem that can be solved using molecular geometry. To be able to visualize molecular geometry, students examine structures in WebMO in order to see the structures clearly.

Download Solving the Stockroom Problem(zip file)


 

Energetics of Food

This module focuses on the energy content of foods and fuels, and how to measure these quantities. Tools include WebMO, Excel, and online applets. An assessment is included.

Download Energetics of Food(zip file)


 

Thermodynamics of Solutions

This module focuses on the thermodynamics of solutions. Tutorials are included along with WebMO and online applets. Calorimetry is also explored.

Download Thermodynamics of Solutions(zip file)


 

Gummy Bear Death

This module focuses on a water lab and a gummy bear lab which both study energetics. Tools include WebMO and Excel. Wet labs included.

Download Gummy Bear Death(zip file)


 

Visualizing Thermodynamics

This module gives students a variety of applets to work with in order to visualize difficult concepts of thermodynamics. They have a heat and temperature simulation in Molecular Workbench to better understand temperature changes. An Excel activity helps students calculate free energy, enthalpy, and entropy, and various videos help students relate thermodynamics to the periodic table.

Download Visualizing Thermodynamics(zip file)


 

EXCELlent Thermodynamics

This module uses Excel combined with a variety of web resources to allow students to explore phase changes, heat transfer, and calorimetry. Students perform several wet labs, which can also be substituted with simulations, which model various aspects of temperature.

Download EXCELlent Thermodynamics(zip file)


 

Organic Thermodynamics

This short module deals with combustion of organic molecules. Students use WebMO to calculate the heat of formation of a variety of simple alkanes.

Download Organic Thermodynamics(zip file)


 

Drug Absorption

This presentation focuses on the acid/base properties of pharmaceuticals and how and where our bodies absorb them into our bloodstream. Tools include PowerPoint and Excel.

Download Drug Absorption(zip file)


 

Airbags

This presentation focuses on the reactions and stoichiometry associated with car airbag deployment. Tools include WebMO, ChemSketch, PowerPoint, and online applets.

Download Airbags(zip file)


 

Design Your Own Artificial Sweetener

In this module, students perform a virtual lab and a wet lab on artificial sweeteners to improve their conceptual knowledge of intermolecular forces.

Download Design Your Own Artificial Sweetener(zip file)


 

ATP

In this module, students explore the thermochemistry and electrochemistry of ATP.

Download ATP(zip file)


 

Biological Buffers

This activity uses applets, WebMO, and ChemSketch to explore basic buffers and titrations.

Download Biological Buffers(zip file)


 

Burning Fuel Emissions

In this module, students explore the effects greenhouse gases have on the environment using WebMO, Vensim, and ChemSketch.

Download Burning Fuel Emissions(zip file)


 

Fluorescence

In this activity, students observe the principles behind fluorescence, and use applets and WebMO to calculate the absorption spectra of various types of fluorescent materials.

Download Fluorescence(zip file)


 

Steroids

This module introduces students to the effects of steroids and their molecular structure.

Download Steroids(zip file)


 

Waves

This module focuses on using Excel to create a wave function and graph to help students visualize waves.

Download Waves(zip file)


 

Investigating Intermolecular Forces

This module utilizes WebMO and Molecular workbench to help students investigate polarity and dipole moment, and their relation to intermolecular attractions between molecules. The module includes several independent or teacher led computational activities for students to use.

Download Investigating Intermolecular Forces(zip file)


 

Quantum Mechanics

This module focuses on quantum mechanics in terms of electromagnetic radiation and the structure of the atom, especially in relation to Bohr’s model. Student study the visible spectrum of hydrogen, relating wavelength, frequency, and energy of a particle. They also explore electron configurations as they relate to orbitals and atomic structure. This module includes additional links to more quantum mechanics resources.

Download Quantum Mechanics(zip file)


 

Atomic Structure

This module provides a strong base of activities to help students learn the history of atomic structure theory and practice working with complex ideas including orbitals, isotopes, and atomic mass. A variety of applets support the development of theories, ideas, and historic experiments.

Download Atomic Structure(zip file)


 

Molecular Orbitals

This module focuses on introducing students to the concepts of orbitals and visualizations. They look at orbital structure through several applets, and they are introduced to physical chemistry through the study of wave functions. They also study valence electron trends through an inquiry lab applet.

Download Molecular Orbitals(zip file)


 

Acid Base Inquiry

This module helps students to understand more clearly the relationship between titrations of antacids and their effectiveness. It gives students a real world application in terms of determining which antacid will most effectively neutralize stomach acid. Students work with graphing titration curves in excel, and finally they can also use virtual lab software to experiment more completely with titrations.

Download Acid Base Inquiry(zip file)