The Mandatory Labs / Skills: Topic 5.1, A Calorimetry Experiment for an Enthalpy of Reaction

Over the last couple of months I have posted some ideas of lab work for you to help with the mandatory labs or mandatory skills that the IB has stipulated are carried out over the duration of the IB course. So far we have looked at labs for deducing the empirical formula of compounds, examples of titration labs and labs to calculate the Mr of a substance using the ideal gas equation. This months post will take up where the others have ...

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone - wherever you are! I hope that it was an enjoyable rest for you. Here in the UK Christmas really does feel over and done with. School has started and the holiday seems a long way away. Last night we took down our Christmas tree and realised that we still had a large number of uneaten candy canes. This posed me with a dilemma..... .... give the children even more sugary sweet substances (as if they haven't ...

Combustion kept simple

When teaching about combustion, we must remember to consider 'complete' and 'incomplete' combustion. During complete combustion, the fuel will produce CO2 and H2O. Incomplete combustion produces CO or C (soot). A neat way of showing this to your class is to just use a bunsen burner. With the air hole closed, explain that the smoky, yellow flame is caused by incomplete combustion - the soot can be collected by placing a cool beaker of water under the flame. Opening the air hole allows complete ...

Holy Smoke

Is going to church dangerous for your health? The atmosphere in churches are sometimes laden with smoke from candles and incense. This smoke however can contain particulate material in concentrations of PM10 (or less than 10 micrometres). These particles can penetrate very deeply into your lungs and cause a variety of heart and lung conditions. The concentration does depend on the time that burning has taken place - so it may be safer to go to church early in the morning than late ...

Candles

  It was one of my students birthdays last week. The student brought in a cake, I had a candle, we lit it, sang happy birthday, etc ..... and then had a remarkably good discussion into wjat happens during the combustion of a candle. What is actually burning? The students asked. The wax? the wick? both? neither? By Matthew Bowden www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/148763) , via Wikimedia CommonsThis is actually a good discussion to have if you are about to teach this organic Chemistry ...

IA ICT requirements – tip 1

Part of the 'new' - we have been using them for three years!  ;-) - IA criteria is that your students need to demonstrate a range of ICT skills. One of these skills is to use a database - the link below takes you to the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) online database. This can be used in a number of ways:   The database can be found here: http://webbook.nist.gov/chemistry/form-ser.html You could ask your students to look up a homologous series of say, ...

Fuel from bugs

There are two key problems with using fossil fuels. They produce CO2 on combustion and they are non renewable. This posting aims to deal with the latter - the non renewable problem. Fossil fuels will run out someday soon so we really need to think about developing sustainable fuels. Ethanol, produced by fermentation of sugar cane has been heralded as a possible answer to the problem. We are probably all familiar with biofuels and Brazil seems to successfully use gasohol. However, ...