|Analytical Problem Solving
This set of activities uses a "just in time" principle of parceling information and supplies to students in an analytical chemistry course. The idea behind this approach is that students have time to think about the questions posed, and if necessary, find information from other sources. This makes them active participants in the learning process. Before the students begin the laboratory activity, they receive a brief introduction to the topic to be studied that raises questions to think about before entering the lab, discusses a real-world issue related to the chemistry topic, or reviews specific safety or procedural considerations. No theoretical introduction is provided since the intent of the approach is to lead students to figure out the concepts for themselves. During the lab, students are given only the necessary information when they need it and ask for it, and they discover for themselves what information and factors are extraneous. Students must decide what their needs are for each activity and then request specific chemicals or equipment. They learn to use available analytical instruments as needed for each activity.
|Color Me Analytical
This lab is an introduction to colorimetry on two levels. First, the students learn how to physically manipulate the colorimeters (it should be noted that this lab presumes the students will already be familiar with the PCs and Vernier software). Secondly, the students start on a pathway of discovery to one of the most important principles in analytical chemistry: Beer’s Law. The lab is inquiry-based, designed to be completed by the student one page at a time (i.e., students must check their answers for each page with the teacher before they receive the next page). The lab is designed for students to work cooperatively in teams of 3-4.
|Determining the Accuracy of Selected Laboratory Glassware
Students determine the accuracy of several pieces of laboratory volumetric glassware while learning to use pipettes and bulbs, burets, and top-loading balances. Through their calculations they experience the relationships between mass, volume, and density and determine the actual volumes contained by the various pieces of glassware. Students will need to determine the density of water based on the temperature of the water they use for this experiment. The ultimate goal is to have students recognize what pieces of glassware to use to obtain the best accuracy and when they should use this glassware. This experiment is a good introduction to the chemistry laboratory and some of the glassware that is commonly used.
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