Kazakos, Mr. George

From the dawn of reason, inquisitive people have looked at the magnificently diverse world around them and wondered. Some pondered its creation and purpose, others wondered about the usefulness of its riches, and there were those who contemplated the fundamental nature of all things tangible. It was this last disposition that led human enterprise into the vast sector of knowledge that we now call chemistry.

Chemistry is the systematic unveiling of the nature of matter—its properties, composition, and structure—and the energy dynamics that accompany matter transformations. Chemistry is also the intellectual process of uncovering the nature of matter and energy that contributes to the ever-expanding body of understanding we accept as chemical knowledge.

Investigation 1: Substances

Students are introduced to chemistry lab tools and procedures. They experience chemical reactions and learn three ways to identify chemical substances: common name, scientific name, and chemical formula. They use macroscopic evidence from reactions to identify reactants.

Investigation 2: Elements

Students learn that elements are the fundamental substances from which all matter on Earth is made. They study the periodic table to become familiar with the 92 naturally occurring elements and search product ingredient.

 Investigation 3: Particles

Students investigate the macroscopic properties of gas and develop a particulate model to describe the invisible composition and interactions that account for the observable behaviors of gas.

 Investigation 4: Kinetic Energy

Students observe expansion and contraction of solids, liquids, and gases, and explain the phenomena in terms of kinetic theory—the constant motion of particles.

Investigation 5: Energy Transfer

Students experience the effects of energy transfer and learn to conceptualize the process of energy transfer as changes of particle kinetic energy resulting from particle collisions. Students are introduced to calories to measure heat and discover that energy is conserved.

Investigation 6: Heat of Fusion

Students conduct experiments to determine the amount of heat needed to convert a mass of ice at 0°C to a mass of liquid water at 0°C.

Investigation 7: Phase Change

Students experience three common phases (states) of matter—solid, liquid, and gas—and investigate the conditions that induce substances to change from one phase to another.

 Investigation 8: Solutions

Students compare aqueous mixtures, one with a soluble solid and one with an insoluble solid. They then dissolve table salt and Epsom salts to determine saturation and discover that different substances have different solubilities. In the last part, students engage the concept of concentration, the ratio of solute to solvent in a solution.

 Investigation 9: Reaction

Students blow bubbles into limewater, observe the precipitate, and move atom tiles (representations) to simulate the rearrangement of atoms to form new substances (particles). Students conduct two other reactions—hydrochloric acid/baking soda and an antacid neutlization reaction—and learn to balance chemical equations.

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