Monday, February 13, 2017

Periodic Trends

It is all about the electrons! Always!


Electro- negativity is how badly atoms want electrons. The most electronegative atoms are Fluorine, Chlorine, and Oxygen. Everyone wants to be a Noble Gas... and halogens are the closest so they are the most electronegative.

Ionization energy is how difficult it is to remove electrons. It is difficult to remove electrons from atoms that are electronegative.


Atomic radius increases as you move down the periodic table because atoms have more mass, but actually decreases from left to right because atoms are holding on to their electrons tighter (because they are more electronegative).

Shielding has to do with how protons are blocked by the electron shells - the more shells there are, the more blocking there is. So something in period 5 (with 5 shells) has more shielding than an element in period 2 with two electron shells. Sheilding is constant across the periodic table because the number of shells is constant.

Compound Chemistry has an infographic on the Periodic Trends here

Friday, February 10, 2017

Electronic Configuration

Battleship, a classic game by Milton Bradley, is a game easily adaptable to learning electronic configuration.

Electronic Configuration is an intense mathematical calculation proposed by Schrodinger & Heisenberg as a way to predict where to find an electron around the nucleus in the electron cloud model. 

There are four main parts of the periodic table known as orbitals. The S block, P block, D and F orbitals. Within each block, you just count over how many spaces it is. There are seven energy levels that are loosely based on the period that an element is (the D & F blocks are exceptions to energy levels). The D block is dumb and that's why it starts with one number lower. Really they just have less energy and have the same amount of energy as the S and P block in the 3rd period. The F block are failures and that's why they are 2 lower... or they have a lot less energy.

So to identify Hydrogen you would say 1s2 because it is in the first period or first energy level, in the s block, and the first member of the first block. Carbon is a 2P2 because it is in the 2nd period, in the P block, and the 2nd one over in the P block.

Students learned the pattern of electronic configuration and how to use it. Basically its like giving directions to an element on the PT using set landmarks. It is a bit confusing, but once you get the pattern, its not too bad.


Students practiced a bit and then they played Battleship to practice some more. The Periodic Table became the game board and students hid their ships on it, then guessed hits using the electronic configuration of the atoms. I think they really got the hang of it because I did not field many questions at that point.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Expanding your Horizons: Alkali Metals

This assignment, students will watch two videos about the reactions of Alkali Metals with water (HINT - They will explode!!!)

Video 1 - Alkali Metals in water, accurate!

Video 2 - Brainiac - Alkali Metals 


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dudes (Chemistry Scientists)

There are several "dudes," famous chemistry folks that students need to be familiar with. These dudes (Democritus, Dalton, JJ Thompson, Millikan, Rutherford, Bohr, Heisenberg, De Broglie, and Planck) all did experiments and came up with different and improved atom models. The current model is the elctron cloud or quantum mechanical model which was formulated by Heisenberg and De Broglie.

Heisenberg and De Broglie came up with the current electron cloud model, but we draw Bohr's planetary model the most often because it easier to count the electrons. There's a TedEd video about the progression - HERE.

Electrons are tricky because they move constantly and at high speeds. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that you cannot know both the speed and location of an electron - you can only know one - because measuring either one, changes the other. DeBroglie's wave theory helps explain why electrons sometimes act like particles and sometimes are compared to waves.


For more information about the evolution of the atomic model, check out this link. And here is a video!

Here are some Dude Quizlet Flashcards to help you out.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Atoms and the PT

Atoms, or elements, are the smallest unit of matter. They retain their identity in chemical reactions and are combined to form compounds and everything in the universe.

Atoms have some basic parts. Protons and Neutrons are found in the nucleus and make up the atomic mass. To find the number of neutrons, you subtract the atomic number (number of protons) from the atomic mass number (protons plus neutrons).

Electrons are so tiny that they do not influence the atomic mass. They are found orbiting the nucleus in shells or orbitals. Atoms are neutral so the number of protons equals the number of electrons.

How small is an atom? Watch this entertaining TedEd video!

Mendeleev designed the periodic table by looking at the properties of elements on cards and arranging them different ways until he got a system that worked. No one told him how to do it, he just did it until it worked. He even left spaces for elements that were discovered in his lifetime. (More info about Mendeleev) His periodic table was set up according to atomic mass number. The current table, altered slightly by Moseley, is organized by atomic number (number of protons). This is an AMAZING Video about Mendeleev and his PT!

Next we discussed regions of the periodic table, colored them, and labeled them. Periods are horizontal rows (periods go at the end of a sentence) and there are 7 periods. There are 18 groups or families (vertical columns) and a few of them have special names. This a pretty excellent diagram. This website gives a lot of helpful information.




Friday, January 27, 2017

Percent Composition

Percent composition is just like determining your grade - the amount you got divided by the the whole amount. 

With compounds, you find the mass of a particular element and divide it by the mass of the whole compound. So if you wanted to know the percent composition of oxygen in water, you would take the mass of oxygen and divide it by the mass of water. 


We practiced some basics and the students measured the amount of sugar found in DubbleBubble bubble gum. 



Students each had a piece of gum and observed the gum by weighing it, drawing it, and smelling it. The students chewed the gum for ten minutes. While they were waiting we watched How Its Made on bubblegum.

After ten minutes, students did more observations and re-weighed the gum. The gum weighed less... why? Because the sugar dissolved and was lost. Using this weight difference, students determined the percent composition of sugar in the gum they chewed. They also can convert the grams to moles and determine how many moles of sugar were in the gum.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Expanding Horizons: Insect Venom




The original Compound Interest article on insect venom and the Schmidt pain index can be found here. Please look at the graphics and read the article.


You can listen to an interview with Schmidt who developed the pain scale here (it is the first ten minutes) on a RadioLab podcast (I highly recommend their shows).





Still curious?
What's the difference between poison and venom? There's a TedEd Talk on that! Watch it HERE.

How does your brain respond to pain? There's a TedEd Talk on that! Watch it HERE!

Want to know more about ant colonies? There's a TED talk on it. Watch it here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Moles? What the heck!

Moles are used to count atoms. There are 22,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion atoms in a grain of sand and even counting grains of sand is a pain. Because atoms are so tiny, we use the mole to estimate.

There are 6.02 x 10 ^23 molecules in one mole. That's a whole lot. This is our new favorite number because it needs to be memorized. We will practice converting from moles to molecules.


Next we discussed molar mass. Molar mass = 1 mole and it also equals atomic mass from the periodic table. To find the molar mass of carbon dioxide you find the mass of carbon and two oxygens and add them together. Finding molar mass is not difficult unless the molecule has tricky subscripts (which we have been practicing).


The third thing about moles is that "one mole of any gas will occupy 22.4 Liters." 22.4 is another favorite number. We can convert from moles to liters and from liters to moles. 

Just how big is a mole? There's a TedEd talk on that! Watch it here!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Conversions

Conversions, or dimensional analysis, are used to change one unit to another. This is really useful when converting to metric units, but is essential to chemistry in terms of mole conversions. Setting up conversions is a skill so we started with learning the format. There are plenty of how to videos out there on the internet for anyone needing a tutorial.

We practiced conversions with some of the crazy things people do to get in the Guinness Book of World Records - like longest ear hair, skinniest waist, tallest man, etc. I think the one the kids thought was the weirdest was the lady who can pop her eyes out 12mm.

Check out more crazy records here!


Monday, January 23, 2017

SigDigs and Sci Notation

Significant digits are used so that our calculations are not more precise than our measurements. All digits other than zero are significant.
Its the zeros that are the tricky ones. We went over the rules and then did some practice situations. We will continue to practice this and all calculations made for the rest of the year must be rounded to the correct number of significant digits. 


Scientific Notation is used for very large and very small numbers that usually have a lot of zeros to make the numbers for manageable. Most students are familiar with scientific notation and just need a bit of practice.