Science. Discovery. Experience.

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I Scream for Ice Cream – Grade 10 Chem edition

The lesson on Energetics for the Grade 10 students dealt with understanding concepts of heat and energy transfer. While there are more concepts that can be included in this topic, I found this activity a very interesting one just to show that it only needs a change in temperature in two different systems for heat to be transferred.

Students were asked to look for a recipe for ice cream, and replicate that in the school’s home economics room. With the magic of ziplock bags, newspaper and a LOT of ice, students shook, jiggled, joggled, wobbled and what not their ice cream mixtures until the heat coming from their solutions would transfer to the salty ice, making their liquidy concoction of sugar and sweets freeze to the consistency of that delectable treat we all long for during the summer season.

Below are snippets of the students working tirelessly to make their prepare their ice cream.

ice cream 1 ice cream 2 ice cream 3 ice cream 4

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“Be a Chemist” presentation of Grade 7 students

After a week of researching, preparing materials and cooking their own formulations, the Grade 7 students were able to present to their class their own versions of common household products. It was truly a feat for these students to have come up with a cheaper or more environmentally safe product as compared to commercially available ones. While the objective of this assessment is for the students to have an appreciated understanding of the names and formulas of usual chemicals found in regular household cleaners, the project enabled them to also apply manipulative skills in the laboratory, as well as to feel a sense of accomplishment in coming up with a product that they can call their own.

Below are snapshots of the presentation per pair, including shots of their info board and  products:

Alex and Jazmin

Carlo and Sarah

Chloe and Seongyeon

Gabby and Calvin

Jarel and Mico

Lindsay and Justin

Some of the students’ products:

liquid detergent

homemade shampoo

homemade bleach

coffee soap

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It’s Your Turn to be Chemists!

Finals Week is coming and for the Grade 7 students, a special alternative assessment is designed for them to tea their knowledge of properties of substances, as well as appreciate the importance of knowing the names and formulas of different chemicals. The mechanics of their assessment is as follows, with the corresponding rubrics to check standards of success:

THE GRADE 7 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGE

SECOND QUARTER CHEMISTRY ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT

 GOAL: To come up with a household product that had been modified to produce a cheaper or more ecofriendly alternative to commercial ones

 ROLE: You are product developers in the lab who will present your findings to your senior chemist supervisor (that’s your teacher, of course)

AUDIENCE: Your senior chemist supervisor and your colleagues who are knowledgeable in science, particularly in properties and uses of different chemicals

SITUATION: It’s Product Development Week when the head office gives grants to individuals who have come up with modified versions of ordinary household materials, highlighting on the benefits of these modifications.

PRODUCT: Using a 1/4 illustration board, a comparative study on the products of an original and modified recipe, highlighting why the modified product is either cheaper or more ecofriendly, will be presented. Correct names and chemical formulas of ingredients used should also be highlighted in the presentation.

STANDARDS AND CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS:

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-9-37-13-pm screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-9-37-42-pm

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Inquisitive Learning in the 21st century

Classroom setup where the teacher can just be present online

Classroom setup where the teacher can just be present online

In the age of laptops and tablets, students have now more access to learning with a wide range of resources to help them discover new things that were not available for the previous generation. One such resource is the set of various databases that one can access using a single click.

The G12 IBDP Chemistry lesson is about analytical techniques used to determine molecular structures, functional groups and elements present in various substances. As the lesson is too abstract without providing real samples, and the actual instruments too expensive and inconvenient to gain access to, one has to rely on good ol’ google to provide the necessary materials for the delivery of the subject matter.

Paper versus Computer Screen

Paper versus Computer Screen

Thanks to the websites http://www.chem.ualberta.ca/~orglabtutorials/Interactive%20Tutorials/ir/irspec.html and http://www.chem.ucalgary.ca/courses/350/Carey5th/Ch13/ch13-ir-4.html, the lesson in IR spectroscopy was easier for the students to grasp and understand. Of course, collaboration between classmates also helped in providing support for each other in truly grasping the lesson.

Paperless learning

Paperless learning

As mentioned to the students, with the onset of newer and more advanced developments in various fields, more and more information are required and expected of students before they get to their tertiary level of education. But with the raging speed of technological development, the classroom we know simply has to adjust and go with the flow by maximizing all possible means for the students to learn, as well as for them to find meaning to their everyday learning.

Discussion among peers

Discussion among peers

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Happy Mole Day!

It has already been tradition for me as a teacher to celebrate Mole Day with my students, even if it’s only through online posts in Facebook. Mole Day is celebrated every 23rd of October, starting at 6:02 am to 6:02 pm, in honor of Avogadro’s constant, which is 6.02 x 10^23. Here are the students’ digital posters that were shared through Facebook and were created specifically to spread word about the mole today, during Avogadro’s special day. #howbigisamole 

Isara Suwansilp G11

Isara Suwansilp G11

 

Nikka Cheng G11

Nikka Cheng G11

 

Louie Cheng G11

Louie Cheng G11

 

Ann Ang G12

Ann Ang G12

 

Chloe Uy G11

Chloe Uy G11

 

Nathan Barria G12

Nathan Barria G12

 

Kate Chua G11

Kate Chua G11

 

Lance Pimentel G12

Lance Pimentel G12

 

Angelika Kehyeng G12

Angelika Kehyeng G12

 

Nandika Gupta G11

Nandika Gupta G11

 

Jewel Siy G11

Jewel Siy G11

 

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Chemagic 2016

The Grade 8 students celebrated their last week of the first quarter preparing for their final assessment in Chemistry entitled “Chemagic.” In this alternative assessment, students are tasked to research chemical reactions that can be done in the laboratory that can serve as special effects in scenes that they will portray in front of a live audience. Below is a video, especially compiled by Ramon Martin Co of Grade 12, on the performances that happened on that day. Enjoy!

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The Grade 6 Goldberg Machines

I personally enjoy watching students make connections and craft amazing creations using their imagination and natural talents.

The first quarter came to a close for the Grade 6 taking Chemistry through their alternative assessments as they were tasked to present a Goldberg Machine made from an element, a compound, a homogeneous mixture, and a heterogeneous mixture, while including a physical change happening in one of the steps. Students spent their time in Science conceptualizing, making a blueprint, and building their final products. In the end, the experience provided valuable insights on the use of various materials in their machine, and an appreciation of how to apply what they have learned for the past quarter, engineered in one machine, simple yet complex in many ways.

Below are the reflection points of selected students from the class.

goldbergmachine-chloe

goldbergmachinereflections-pranay

reflection-kate-and-aj

science-goldberg-emma

sciprojectentry-emilie

rubegoldbergmachinereflection-ianna

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Accounts from students who have suffered stoich strokes from smores

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“This week, the 11th Grade IB Chemistry students performed an experiment on S’mores, through which we learned about stoichiometric concepts such as limiting and excess reactants. In the experiment, we distributed equally the materials among three groups. The materials consisted of Graham crackers, big marshmallows, small marshmallows, and dark chocolate bricks. Each group received twelve Graham cracker pieces, six chocolate blocks, eleven small marshmallows and nine big marshmallows. My partner and I made our S’mores such that each S’more had two Graham crackers, two chocolate pieces, one big marshmallow, and one small marshmallow. By the end of our preparations, we had an excess of big and small marshmallows because they were not entirely consumed. Our limiting reactants were the Graham crackers and the dark chocolate pieces because at the end of making S’mores there were none left as they were all used in making our six S’mores. Through this experiment, we learned about the law of conservation where the mass of the product is equal to the sum of the masses of reactants. We observed this in our S’mores experiment, thus learning that there, in fact, is a relationship between the mass of a S’more and the masses of the reactants.”

unnamed-11

“Last Tuesday, we were told to make s’mores as introduction to our lesson on stoichiometry and limiting and excess reagents in chemistry. After dividing the marshmallows, graham crackers, and pieces of chocolate amongst 3 groups, we found out that there was an excess of marshmallows. In total, we created 6 s’mores with 2 marshmallows, 1 block of chocolate, and 2 graham crackers each. Because we completely used up the graham crackers and chocolate making only 6 s’mores, those two ingredients were our limiting reagents. The marshmallows, on the other hand, was our excess reagent as there were still extra marshmallows after the activity.

This activity was entertaining, highly educational, and an interactive way to learn about chemistry. It allowed me to gain a deeper understanding on excess and limiting reagents whilst having an enjoyable time making and eating s’mores.”

 

“Previously this week, we made s’mores in class. However, the purpose of these s’mores wasn’t just to serve as a delicious snack during the day, but an equally delicious lesson about stoichiometry. Using the ingredients as substitutes for different elements, we were able to identify and define limiting reagents using a practical and delicious method. By crafting the s’mores, we were able to discover that a limiting reagent is the material responsible for a reaction reaching completion. With s’mores, the limiting reagent was the graham crackers and the marshmallows. As a result, what was left over were the marshmallows. Even if they were left over, we later put them to good use by creating a makeshift s’mores dip! It was a delicious lesson, and to quote Ms. Cherry Tan, it was “stoichi-yum-etry!”

stoich-smores

Yesterday in chem class our teacher told us to bring marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate to make S’mores!!!!!!. We were split into groups and we were free to use the ingredients to make as much s’mores as we can. My group had 9 graham crackers, 12+ marshmallows, and 12 chocolates. We were able to only create 6 s’mores with two marshmallow, 2 graham crackers and 2 chocolates for each s’mores. The ingredient that ran out were the graham crackers and the chocolates, therefore they were the limiting reactant. The marshmallows were the excess reactant.

 

“The s’mores activity was very educational because it visually represents our topic, stoichiometry. It demonstrates what an excess reagent is and also what a limiting reagent. In this case, the excess reagent were the marshmallows while the limiting reagent were the graham crackers and chocolate bars. The limiting reagent (chocolate and graham crackers) limited us to making only 6 s’mores.”

unnamed-21

S’mores equation:

2 graham crackers + 2 marshmallows + 1 chocolate brick = 1 s’mores

12 graham crackers + 12 marshmallows + 6 chocolate bricks = 6 s’mores

The maximum number of S’mores that we were able to craft from our ingredients of 12 graham crackers, 23 marshmallows, and 12 chocolate pieces. The supply of graham crackers and chocolates were used up first, leaving an excess of 13 marshmallows. This way they are the crackers and chocolate act as the limiting reagents whilst the marshmallow as excess reagent. Our group was able to make 6 S’mores in total, having each one encompass of two marshmallows (one mini and large) and 2 chocolate bricks and top-bottom coverage of two graham crackers.

This “sweet” experiment was designed to mimic the synthesis of a compound and better understand the concept of reactants and products through the use of food. I found it fascinating how the concept of Stoichiometry can applied in mundane activities such as making s’mores. Overall, the experiment not only allowed us to understand the concept of limiting and excess reagents more thoroughly through physical perceivement but also enjoy the sweet treat of warm s’mores

 

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Breakfast of Champions

The Grade 6 students were already introduced to their second unit in their Chemistry class. Without any introduction, students were asked to draw what they had their breakfast today. Knowing the generation of today, I already expected students who will ask questions such as “What if I didn’t eat breakfast today?” or “What if I don’t eat breakfast?” I was prepared for these kinds of questions so the alternative question was given instead: “What for you is your ideal breakfast?”

Students enjoyed drawing and coloring the most common and also most outrageous breakfast meals. One even wanted to have wine during breakfast!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

yum yum!

yum yum!

Once drawing and coloring were done, students were asked to post their pictures on the board as they were grouped into two. The next instructions were to find a way for them to CLASSIFY and GROUP TOGETHER their breakfasts based on certain similarities. As there was no concept introduced yet, students had these as their answers.

classification 1st attempt for Group 1

  classification 1st attempt for Group 1

1st attempt for Group 2 in classification

1st attempt for Group 2 in classification

After their classification, the lesson was then introduced. Matter can be grouped in many different ways, but what if it was grouped according to composition, or simply, based on what they contain? Students had a basic understanding of this lesson, and the lesson proceeded as planned, with the students given another chance to regroup according to these categories.

There we go, Group 1!

There we go, Group 1!

You've made it, Group 2!

You’ve made it, Group 2!

It is interesting to see students being personally engaged in the subject they are studying. One student has even shown so much passion about explaining that plain Koko Crunch should be considered a compound because it is not mixed with anything like milk. These are the teachable moments that I believe can enable teachers to capture the interest of students as they can easily relate to something they actually experience, or at least achieve to experience, as early as the start of their day.

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The fuss about the mole

students at work in counting

students at work in counting

As students embarked on their first few days in IB class, the G11 were asked to do an inquiry based learning on counting different objects. With a guided worksheet at hand, the students were asked to get 100 pieces of different objects and asked several questions about them, i.e. what the mass was in grams of all 100 objects, the similarity and difference in dividing the total mass by 100 and measuring a single piece of that object, etc. They were also asked for the lightest object among those that my 7 students weighed out. Students were then asked to divide their respective objects’ masses by this mass to get the “relative mass” of their objects. The next challenge was for them to count how many of their objects can reach this relative mass using a digital balance. And by the power of mathematics and some logic, everyone arrived at the same number.

the calculations

the calculations

Processing of this activity included the comparison of these tangible objects and concepts to the concept of the mole. Through the discussion, the students were able to connect the objects as representations of different particles in the atomic level, their masses to the relative atomic masses of the elements, and the number as a standard number to which these atoms are related somehow to- the mole. The mole, being equal to 6.02 x 10^23, is considerably a very large number. When students were asked why the need for this absurdly large number, some of them were able to answer that this large number is needed to compensate for the smallest of particles.

the objects

the objects

This activity proved to concretize a concept as abstract as using a standard number to represent a certain number of particles. Through a hands-on activity like this one, students were able to visualize and make connections of concepts that remain abstract when read in books or searched online. A nice link to the use of mathematics in science, as well as using these areas of knowledge to introduce them about TOK, proved to be successful with the students as they appreciate the interconnectedness that exists among their IB subjects.

  • http://www.deped.gov.ph/