Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The original image is HERE.

These images are originally from Compound Interest. They can be found at: Sparklers, Fireworks, and Metal Ions.

This TedEd video relates all of this the Chemistry Dudes like DeBroglie!

Want more? Check out these two videos from ScienceFriday about "The Science of Fireworks" and "Celebrating Explosive Chemistry."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Roman Numerals for Metals

Time to learn about roman numerals.... Here is a handy clock if you are unfamiliar with them. Pretty much you need to know 1-7. 1 is represented with I, five with V and 10 with X.  4 and 6 and 7 is where it gets tricky. 4 is 1 before 5 - so its Roman numeral is IV. 6 is one after five so its roman numeral is VI.

Students also learned how to identify the charges of metals with more than one oxidation state using Roman numerals. Metals in the D, F, and lower P get Roman numerals - basically all metals but the S block, Aluminum and Boron get roman numerals. The roman numeral tells you the charge. We have to use this system because those odd metals can actually be found in more than one form - some with 2 possible charges - some with more than four!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ionic Bonding

Students learned about ionic bonding. Ionic bonding happens between metals and nonmetals (positives and negatives). The electrons are given and taken in this ionic bond. 

To get the formula, you criss cross the charges. To name it, you say the name of the metal, then the name of the nonmetal with an -ide ending. If it is a metal from DForP block, then you use a roman numeral to indicate the charge of the metal. Basically everyone gets a Roman numeral except S-block, Boron, and Aluminum

After learning the basics, students practice.

Now that we understand ionic bonding, students should find this cartoon amusing.

Ionic Bonds for Dummies

Here is a cool interactive where you can build models to simulate ionic bonding.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Valence Electrons and Ions

Students learned about valence electrons. Valence electrons are the outermost electrons and are the electrons that are used for bonding and participate in reactions. Valence electrons are only found in the S and P blocks. The max number of valence electrons is 8. Students practiced counting valence electrons and drawing Lewis Dot Structures.

Students also practiced identifying which noble gas an element wanted to be like. All elements want to be like two noble gases - it is just a matter of figuring out which is closer. Elements want to be like noble gases because they have full outer electron shells, or full valences. This makes them stable and non reactive which is why noble gases are sometimes called the inert gases.

Today students learned how to use valence electrons and dot structures to determine the charge of an atom. Atoms either want to gain electrons or lose electrons to become like those noble gases they envy.
  • Ions are atoms or molecules that have a net charge, either positive or negative. There are two kinds of ions:
  • Anions are negatively charged ions because they have negative net charges. This means that there is a greater number of electrons (-) than protons (+). For example, the anion, fluoride (F 1-), has a one negative charge because it has a total of nine protons and ten electrons. Thus, the net charge for fluoride is 1 negative.
  • Cations are positively charged ions because they have  positive net charges. This is due to these ions having more protons (positive charges) than electrons (negative charges). For example, calcium (Ca 2+) is a cation ion with 20 protons and 18 electrons. The net charge for Calcium is 2 positive. (from here)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Formula Writing

Today we discussed how to write chemical formulas, and what the numbers associated with a chemical formula mean.

Coefficients are the big numbers in front and are distributed to the whole molecule (which means you may have to multiply). Coefficients tell you how many molecules are present. 
     3He = He He He :)

Subscripts are the little lower numbers and they indicate the number of atoms and only apply to the atom it is to the right of. Subscripts tell you how many of each atom are present. Students wrote their name as a chemical compound and thought it looked pretty interesting. Some students have long formulas, other short.

We then led into counting atoms for real chemical formulas using subscripts and coefficients.
Be careful....
Here is the wonderful website these images came from. You may find it helpful.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Organic Formula Basics

Each week you will need to complete a "Chemistry of" assignment based on infographics pertaining to real life chemistry. Here is the first assignment... information that will be helpful for decoding chemistry for the rest of the semester. Click on the image to make it larger.

Compound Interest's original post can be found here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dudes and the PT

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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mendeleev and the Periodic Table

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.