Electroplating a key is a visual redox activity. Students can watch the reaction occur on a piece of metal such as a key with the five variations of the activity outlined in the document. Click "Resources" below for a PDF, editable Word document, and video of the experiment.
Electrochemistry affects all of us every day. Batteries which start your car, run calculators and wristwatches, and supply emergency power all operate on electrochemical principles. Corrosion of pipes, bridges, boats, and automobiles can be prevented with knowledge of basic electrochemical principles. Nerve impulses are the result of electrochemical reactions in
Effluent waters from mines often times contain many dissolved metals which need to be removed before the water can be released. In order to clean the water up, we need to know exactly what metals are present in the effluent waters. This experiment is designed to guide students through creating
Titrations can only be performed when our titrant has an accurately known concentration, so the titrant is often standardized to accurately determined the concentration. This experiment is designed to teach students how to standardize titrants for acids and bases for use in a titration of an unknown acid and base
Indicators are often used to show a color change when a solution crosses a certain pH. There are many different indicators that change colors across a wide variety of pH's, but in order to determine what pH this transition occurs at we need to know the equilibrium constant. This experiment
Ever wonder why oil and water do not mix? It is due to water being a polar molecule and oil being a nonpolar molecule. This experiment is designed to teach students about molecular polarity and allow them to observe the separation of mixtures of molecules based on polarity using paper
Models are often useful in chemistry to circumvent things like cost of doing the experiment, safety issues, and size issues regarding the experiment. This experiment is designed to teach students how to analyze models for useful data and draw conclusions from the model. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of
Solid carbon dioxide is often used to keep items cold for long periods of time and is advantageous because it does not leave items wet, instead solid carbon dioxide changes to a gas as it warms up. This experiment is designed to have students observe all phases of carbon dioxide
Chlorine and iodine are put in water to help make it safe to drink due to their ability to destroy disease causing organisms. This experiment teaches students how to standardize a solution and then do a titration to determine the concentration of chlorine and iodine in tap water and water
Vinegar is common ingredient for cooking and is usually used to tenderize meat when cooking. Vinegar is a good tenderizer due to the acetic acid in the solution. This experiment will have students do a titration to determine how much acetic acid is contained in vinegar. Click "Resources" below for
Every chemical reaction occurs within some period of time that is dictated by the reaction rate. However, there are many factors that affect the reaction rate such as temperature, concentration and presence of a catalysts. This experiment utilizes the iodine clock reaction to have students measure the rate of reaction
We often use colligative properties to our advantage such as putting salt on the road in the winter for cold and snowy climates to help melt the ice that forms in the winter. The addition of salt lowers the freezing point of water helping minimize the formation of ice. This
Gases are the most compressible form of matter and gases are useful for many applications such as pushing up the pistons in a combustion engine. This experiment allows students to graphically explore the relationships between pressure and volume and temperature and volume. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the
Analytical chemists are often tasked with determine what is in a solution and how much of that compound is present in solution. This experiment will guide students through precipitating out nickel from an unknown nickel containing solution to determine the percent nickel in the unknown solution. Click "Resources" below for
Titrations can be used to find the concentration of a compound in an unknown solution through the stoichiometry associated with the balanced reaction. This experiment will have students do a series of titrations that require different ratios of acids and bases. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Oftentimes in industrial settings, we do not always know what inorganic ions are present in solution and thus we need to determine a way to find out what all may be present in a sample. This experiment is designed to guide students through a method that allows for them to
Everything in life revolves around the transfer of energy which can occur through many pathways, one such example is chemical reactions the use or release heat. This experiment involves students burning various items top heat water as a means to measure the heat released and performing heat gained and heat
Molecules interact with light to produce colored solids and liquids due to their molecular structure, due to this we can determine the concentration of a colored molecule by how well the solution absorbs light. In this experiment, students will look at the absorption spectra of different solutions before moving on
Light can be used as a tool for measurement in chemistry, but it is important to understand the origin of light and its relationship to the structure of the atom. In this lab, students will explore the concepts of frequency, wavelength, velocity and interference arising from light behaving like a
Our ability to accurately measure values in chemistry is central to a thorough understanding and interpretation of experimental data. This experiment will guide students through how to use the microLAB system and accurately read glassware before finally having the students measure physical properties of an unknown liquid to determine the
Whenever an acid is titrated with a base or a base is titrated with an acid, the pH is measured incrementally throughout the titration and is plotted versus the volume added to obtain a titration curve.This experiment involves the comparison of a strong and weak acid titration curve along with
Oftentimes we do not know what acids or bases are contained in a mixture, however we can make an effort to figure out what is contained in a solution through titrations. This experiment will involve the titration of an acid mixture with NaOH to determine which acids are present and
Titration is an analytical technique used to find the concentration of a known volume of an unknown substance by adding a known concentration of a known substance. This experiment will determine the molar concentration of phosphoric acid in a cola product. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Sulfuric acid is a diprotic acid and acts as a strong acid in its first ionization step and a weak acid in its second ionization step. In this experiment students will do a pH titration on sulfuric acid to determine the Kₐ of the second ionization step. Click "Resources" below
Phosphoric acid, H₃PO₄, has 3 ionizable hydrogen atoms and is a triprotic acid. This experiment will give students experience with burets and pipettes while they calculate the first dissociation constant of phosophoric acid. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Arrhenius defined acids as a molecule that releases H⁺ and a base release OH⁻, then the definition of acids and bases were further defined by Brønsted and Lowry to include acids as a H⁺ donor and bases as a H⁺ acceptor. This experiment will explore the interaction of acids with
An acid was originally defined by Svante Arrhenius as a substance which releases hydrogen ions in solution and a base is a substance which releases a hydroxide ion in solution. An indicator is a proton donor/acceptor and changes color depending on how many hydrogen ions are present in solution. In
Weak acids do not fully dissociate in water and release limited quantities of H⁺ into solution. A weak acid can also be monoprotic, diprotic, or polyprotic meaning they release 1 or more H⁺ into solution from a single acid molecule. In this experiment, both the dissociation constant(s) (kₐ) and molar
Sometimes we are required to titrate salts to understand the composition of the solid mixture. This experiment involves the titration of potassium phthalate (KHP) that is in an inert soluble salt such as NaCl, to determine the mixture of the solid. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Sodium carbonate is an important industrial chemical used in the manufacturing of soap, glass, and paper as it is a base. This experiment will titrate carbonic acid through all dissociation steps. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
A plot of pH of a solution against the volume of "titrant" added is called a titration curve. This experiment will involve the titration of acids with a strong base to find the kₐ of a weak acid and the % active ingredient in a commercial cleaning product. Click "Resources"
Atoms are composed of tiny, positively charged nuclei surrounded by a swarm of low mass, negative electrons. This experiment is focused around the light absorbed/emitted from various molecules and atoms through excitation of the electrons. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Use of nuclear as a source of energy is limited due to difficulties and issues with disposing of spent nuclear fuels. This experiment is designed to build an understanding of the reactions involved in radioactive decay. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Radioactive materials played an important role in the discovery of the atom and the ending of a world war, and may play a more important role providing energy in the future. This experiment delves into the concepts behind radioactive materials and their properties. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of
Catalysts lower the activation energy of a chemical reaction. This experiment will help a student understand the effect different catalysts and different reaction conditions have on the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Kinetics is the study of "how fast" and "how" a reaction occurs. This experiment measures the time in which the 3 step sulfonation of formaldehyde takes to occur. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Chemical kinetics is the study of the rates of chemical reactions and the mechanisms by which they occur. This experiment will determine the experimental rate law and rate of several reactions (mechanism) involving the ferroin complex. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Chemical reactions have an energy barrier that they must overcome for the reaction to proceed. This experiment will guide students through the process to determine reaction order and activation energy. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Chemical kinetics is the study of reaction rates. This experiment will measure the kinetics of the reaction of crystal violet with NaOH using colorimetry to monitor the concentration as a function of time. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
This experiment is designed to guide a student through investigating a fundamental chemical concept in household product using the microLAB as a data collection module. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Around 1801, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac observed the rate of expansion for a gas with increasing temperature was constant for all gases as long as the pressure was constant and water was absent. This experiment will explore the relationship between temperature and the volume of a gas. Click "Resources" below for
The total pressure of a mixture of gases is the sum of the partial pressure of each individual gas in the mixture. This experiment will find the partial pressure of a mixture of gases by keeping track of the how many moles of each gas is mixed. Click "Resources" below
The density of a gas is sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure. To study Boyle's and Charles' Laws, the density of a gas will be measured at various temperatures and pressures. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
While liquids and solids are not greatly affected by temperature and pressure, gases are affected by temperature and pressure. This experiment will measure the changes in density of a gas as a function of temperature and pressure. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
One of the major differences between gases and solids or liquids are that the volume of the a sample of gas varies when the pressure or temperature is changed to a much greater extent than the volumes of solids and liquids. This experiment will measure the change in density of
Under certain conditions, we can supercool a liquid to below its freezing point without it freezing. This experiment will measure the freezing point of an organic compound, phenyl salicylate. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Under certain conditions, we can cool a liquid to below its freezing point without freezing (supercooling). This experiment will measure the freezing point of an organic compound, glacial acetic acid. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Any chemical reaction involving the transfer of electrons from one substance to another is called an oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction. This experiment will measure reduction potentials of various metals to create a table of the electrochemical series. The Nernst equation will be used to predict the effect of change in ion concentration
Transition metal ions combine easily with neutral molecules or anions (ligands) to form coordination complexes. This experiment measures the heat evolved during the chelation of nickel(II) and copper(II) to determine the maximum number of ethylenediamine molecules that have chelated in each complex ion. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the
When metal ions such as nickel(II) are present in aqueous solution, it interacts with solvent water molecules and forms what is called a complex ion. This experiment will determine the coordination number on a metal ion by measuring the heat of reaction for the binding of a ligand to the
When substances react, the concentrations of reactants and products change continuously until the system reaches chemical equilibrium. This experiment involves the study of the equilibrium involved in the formation of a complex ion (a metal with a ligand attached) using colorimetry.Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Colorimetry is an instrumental method based on the light absorption by colored solutions and is widely used for chemical analysis. this experiment will utilize 5 crystal violet solutions of known concentration to create a Beer's Law Plot. The concentration of an unknown solution will found using the Beer's Law Plot
Color is something we take for granted, such as our ability to regulate traffic flow with colored lights. this experiment contains 3 parts with demonstrate color and color mixing (Part 1), finding concentration of an unknown using Beer's Law (Part 2), and finding concentration of chlorine in pool and tap
Thermodynamics is concerned with energy changes that occur in physical processes. This experiment will use ΔH and ΔS obtained electrochemically to calculate ΔG. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
All chemical reactions and many physical processes are accompanied by the absorption of heat. In this experiment, the heat change will be measured for multiple salts dissolved in water. The information gathered will then be used to design a hot and cold pack that produce specified temperature changes. Click "Resources"
The heat of reaction (ΔH) is defined as heat lost or gained as a reaction proceeds from reactants to products. this experiment is designed to find the heat of reaction using Hess' Law. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Many ionic salts contain water that is loosely bound to the salt ions. This experiment is designed to qualitatively correlate the enthalpy of solution to ionic charge and size. Click "Resources" below for a PDF of the experiment.
Practically all chemical reactions either release or absorb energy, often in the form of heat. The study of heat and energy changes associated with chemical reactions is known as thermodynamics. This experiment is designed to introduce you to some of the techniques and concepts associated withmeasuring heat during experiments. Click