Thursday, October 29, 2015

Intro to Stoichiometry

Stoichiometry is the most important part of chemistry and why chemistry is so useful in real life. With a balanced equation, stoichiometric conversions can be used to calculate how much product will be made, or how much reactant is needed to produce a certain amount of product.

Stoichiometry uses the three mole conversions that students are familiar with from unit one, plus the mole/mole conversion. A mole/mole conversion uses the coefficients from a balanced equation to convert from one chemical to another. You can only compare elements or chemicals when they are both in mole form. 

Using this equation N2 + 3 H2 --> 2 NH3 the following calculations can be made using stoichiometry. 
Check out this video from CrashCourse if you need some help!

Crash Course Chemistry

This week's expanding horizon assignment comes from CrashCourse Chemistry - link HERE

Choose a video and LEARN!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Mole Day!

Today is Mole Day! Mole day celebrates Avogadro's number of 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power a ginormous number that helps us keep track of itty bitty atoms.

Students learned about moles way back in Unit 1 and already know the basics. We have been honing those skills all along - especially since starting Unit 5 Stoichiometry. 

For moles there are basically four  conversions to know.

1 mole
6.02 x 10^23

1 mole
(molar mass) grams (add weights from PT)

1 mole
22.4 Liters


The mole/mole conversion is used to convert from one chemical to another using the coefficients from a balanced equation. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Entropy and Disorder

Entropy is a chemistry word for disorder. An increase in entropy is spontaneous. By looking for four things in a reaction, students can determine whether a reaction is spontaneous or nonspontaneous by looking for an increase in entropy. 

Exothermic reactions are spontaneous and show an increase in entropy. 

Gases are messier than solids, so a reaction that forms a gas shows an increase in entropy. 

More molecules show an increase in entropy. Count the coefficients on either side of a balanced equation. If the products have more molecules then there is an increase in entropy and the reaction could be spontaneous. 

A decrease in the size of molecules (count atoms making up the molecule) is an increase in entropy. 

Students look for all four things and decide whether the overall reaction would lead to an increase in entropy and be spontaneous.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Le Chatlier

Students learned about reaction rates and how to increase them. They also learned about reversible reactions and how Le Chatlier's principle influences shifts of equilibrium in reversible reactions.

Basically as you apply a stress to a system, the system will shift in response to the stress. If you add one of the molecules it will shift away from that molecule. If you take away a molecule, it will shift towards it to make more. Heat works the same way.

Pressure is the tricky one. If pressure is applied to an equilibrium, then the reaction will shift to the side that has the least amount of molecules (count the coefficients).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Physical Vs Chemical

We talked about the Law of Conservation of mass and how matter cannot be created or destroyed. If you burn a log, the mass of all the ashes, smoke, gases, and everything that is burned off and left behind EQUALS the mass of the original log.

Today students discussed physical vs. chemical properties and changes. They've heard all of this before I am sure, but it doesn't hurt to go over it again. Then we did a challenge to see if they really knew their stuff.

Need to practice identifying chemical and physical properties? Check this out!

Need help identifying types of matter and whether they are heterogeneous or homogeneous? Check this out!

Reaction Rate Basics

Reaction Rates are affected by a few things. Without telling them the point, the students had a quick demo where they had to dissolve sugar cubes the fastest. The things that speed up reactions are:
  • Temperature - warmer is faster
  • Surface Area - small pieces have more surface area
  • Concentration - the more water, the faster sugar will dissolve
  • Catalyst - lowers the activation energy and speeds up the reaction
  • Agitation - shaking or stirring increases the frequency of collisions.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reaction Types

We started by talking about the simple definition of the terms, what the probably products and reactants are and went over a basic formula for the reaction types the students need to be familiar with.

Reaction Types include:
  • synthesis
  • decomposition
  • singe replacement
  • double replacement
  • combustion
  • endothermic
  • exothermic
  • oxidation-reduction
  • neutralization
  • nuclear
After discussing the basics, we drew cartoons of stick men and women going on dates to show how atoms move around in the simpler reactions. The picture posted is someone else's version of single replacement (see the one guy switches with the other). For more help with this, check here.

Can you guess what type this is?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Balancing Reactions

Students are learning to balance equations. Today they learned that reactants are what you start with and are on the left side of the equation. Products are on the right side of the arrow and are what is made by process of a chemical change.

Because of the Law of Conservation of Mass, the number of atoms have to be equal on both sides. To balance an equation, the coefficients are changed. Coefficients are the big numbers in front that tell you how many molecules there are. The subscripts (the little lower numbers) are not allowed to be changed because those are there to make neutrally bonded molecules (what we learned in the last unit.

By changing the coefficients and counting the number of atoms on both sides of the arrow, balancing can be achieved.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Polar vs NonPolar Covalent Bonds

Anyone who has ever had to share something with someone else knows that sometimes isn't exactly even. Covalent molecules or bonds are no different. 

If a molecules is nonpolar covalent, it is sharing its electrons equally. The best example of this is in diatomic molecules. Diatomic molecules are two of the same atom bonded together - so they would have exactly the same pull. Symmetrical molecules are also nonpolar.
Polar covalent bonds occur when electrons are not equally shared. One atom, usually more electronegative, has a stronger pull on the electrons and shares them unequally. The other atom that is less electronegative has a smaller hold on the electrons and is thus can be slightly positive. 

One way to remember this is... "Polar Bears do not share... equally."

Monday, October 5, 2015


Valence Shell Electron Repulsion Theory

Electrons do not like each other and when looking at molecular structures - electrons and unshared electrons (the two dots paired together) will space out evenly so they are as far apart as possible.

Most of the names of the shapes of hints like tri, tetra, planar, etc. Students need to memorize these shapes and be able to visualize them for given formulas.

For help with VSEPR - read this.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Covalent Bonding

If it is a - and -, the bond is covalent. The electrons are shared in the bond. To get the formula, you have to draw the Lewis Dot structures for the elements and connect the dots that don't have friends. You write the formula based on your drawing. To name it, use prefixes to indicate the number of atoms in the formula and the second one ends in -ide. For these it doesn't matter which element comes first.

There are 4 atoms that commonly form diatomic molecules with a covalent bond... and hydrogen is one of them! That weird atom!