This is the Blog for my 40-week Chemistry Class for the 2016-17 school year at George Washington High School.

6-15-17: This shall be the last day of the blog. Students who come to class shall still continue to engage in activities such as films, demonstrations, games, experiments, breakdown and setup of the classroom, and relaxation. Grades are in. Keep in touch. Enjoy the summer. It was a good year - Mr. Applebaum

6-14-17: We prepared then performed the wax fireball demonstration learning why you should not put out grease/oil fires with water.

6-13-17: With a hot day and early dismissal, we relaxed and played chess. I also announced the wax fireball demonstration in in the courtyard outside door two tomorrow at noon (Invite your friends).

6-12-17: We continued with discussions about encryption, the life and death of Alan Turing, and the background of the WWII German enigma machine We continued watching "The Imitation Game", pausing for discussions about technical, historical, political and social aspects of the events presented. We got to 50:46.

6-9-17: I showed photos from last night's senior prom. After a discussion about encryption, the life and death of Alan Turing, and the background of the WWII German enigma machine We began watching "The Imitation Game", pausing for discussions about technical, historical, political and social aspects of the events presented.

6-8-17: Continuing with the IM forces demo, we observed how water can be boiled using ice (cooling the vapor rather than heating the liquid).

6-7-17: Students saw demonstrations involving intermolecular forces (viscosity, surfactants, capillary action, and Prince Rupert's drop).

6-6-17: Students took the final exam. If you missed it, make-up exams are scheduled for Friday but can be taken any day this week.

6-5-17: Students prepared for the final tomorrow.

6-2-17: Students received a practice exam for chapter 12. We reviewed several questions and students are to work the practice exam over the weekend. It counts as a homework/classwork assignment (not an exam). I demonstrated and explained: 1 - Balloon in a Flask, 2 - A combination barometer/thermometer that work on various density fluids., and 3 - Grahams law of diffusion using NH4OH and HCl vapors reacting from opposite ends in a long glass tube.

6-1-17: We reviewed the last page of the chapter 12 package covering Graham's law of diffusion and other topics.

5-31-17: Students were asked to solve p435 #1 & 3. We reviewed thene then for practice were asked to solve # 2 & 4 (I provided the numerical answers). I demonstrated "Elephant's Toothpaste" and students were asked to calculate the volume of gas produced in the demonstration.

5-30-17: Students solved CRWS 12.3 #6. We discussed the ideal gas law and use of R (the gas law constant) in equations. We discussed Avogadro's Law and how it is used to calculate R.

5-26-17: Have day and move-up day (attendance is low). We strategized a study method for the final (prepare a package of notes (key terms & reference sheets). I checked all work from this week and posted new grades. We began watching "Thank you for Smoking" to 25:00.

5-25-17: We reviewed the data from yesterday's lab. We began to discuss Avogadro's law and the concept of Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP). We reviewed temperature conversions and the importance of using absolute scales in temperature and pressure calculations.

5-24-17: I handed out a lab sheet then I repeated the experiment shown in the video from 5/18 using electronic measuring equipment. We got three data points: (1 C, 88.4 kPa), (26.3 C, 98.5 kPa), and (100.3 C, 122 kPa). Students are to complete the lab sheet by the end of class tomorrow. I reviewed and checked the HW. We also verified the Gay Lussac's law equation with experimental data.

5-23-17:Today was the the last of our short periods from Keystone testing. I showed students how to create a linear regression from two point graphical data. For HW, students are to determine the equations for Gay-Lussac's law and Charles law using linear regression or similar algebraic technique. For data points students are to use 1: Absolute zero (-273.16 degrees C), the temperature at which a gas has no pressure or volume; and 2: the fact that one mole of gas at 0 C and 1 atmosphere of pressure (760 mm of Hg) occupies 22.4 liters.

5-22-17: I demonstrated the Gay-Lussac's law apparatus. Students were asked to determine the equations for Gay-Lussac's law and Charles law using linear regression or similar algebraic technique given that one mole of gas at 0 C and 1 atmosphere of pressure occupies 22.4 liters using the true value of absolute zero.

5-19-17: I gave students scaled graph paper and a set of gas law data from an experiment. They were asked to plot the data and extrapolate the value of absolute zero. It turns out that the experiment is flawed and the value that results is not the value expected. We will revisit this and generate proper data.

5-18-17: I reviewed the results of the survey from Saturday and awarded sweets and extra credit. We watched video a demonstration of how to predict absolute zero using Gay Lussac's law. The demonstration was flawed resulting and a flatter line due to gas in the tube and gauge not being subjected to temperature changes.

5-17-17: We had a short class (30 minutes) due to Keystone testing. I checked, reviewed, and offered credit toward grade for the HW from 5/12. We also watched "They Both Reached for the Gun" from the movie Chicago since I believe I had a ventriloquist in the class.

5-16-17: No classes due to election day.

5-15-17: We continued the Paul Hewitt video. I did not check the HW (due date is extended).

5-13-17 (On a Saturday!) Take the short survey using your [ID#] user account for extra credit and a sweet treat at

5-12-17: Students observed a Cartesian Diver and were given materials to make one for extra credit using a two liter bottle. We discussed Boyle's law. Students are asked to complete both sides of the second page from their chapter 12 pack, graphs of Boyle's, Charles' and Gay-Lussac's laws for homework.

5-11-17: I attended an all-day professional development on the topic of "writing across the curriculum" where my group discussed some of the work we did this year and where my teaching (and your learning!!) might head in the future. Remember, you become better at writing by writing more. The same goes for reading and physical exercise. Today students were asked to pick a book from the classroom library of rocketry and aviation publications and write a summary of something they found interesting in one of those books using proper citation. A sheet was distributed with instructions and citation method.

5-10-17: Students wrote, reviewed, rewrote, and submitted descriptions of the earth's atmospheric pressure and the barometer shown on text page 419. Before the rewriting, I demonstrated a water filled tube barometer whose reservoir was lowered to ground level out the window to achieve a vacuum in top of the tube.

5-9-17: We continued watching Paul Hewitt's video "Gases" from the "Conceptual Physics" series up to 27:06. We discussed the barometer, the Madgeburg Hemispheres (I demonstrated them), and an evacuated tube in which a coin and a feather were dropped (also demonstrated). Students were asked to study figure 6 on page 419 in preparation for a "Free Writing" assignment tomorrow.

5-8-17: I demonstrated a stoichiometric reaction of potassium chlorate and sugar which generated a lot of gas. Students can determine the masses of each reactant as an exercise in topic mastery. We used excess sugar. We began watching Paul Hewitt's video "Gases" from the "Conceptual Physics" series. He was just about to explain how a mercury barometer works.

5-5-17: We continued our discussion as to the nature of gases and the atmosphere. Students saw demonstrations using vacuum pumps, pressure gauges, a, balloon, basketball and a bell jar that included the "magic levitating basketball."

5-4-17: I checked HW as credit toward grade and we continued our discussion as to the nature of gases and the atmosphere. Students saw two demonstration of the pressure of the atmosphere; one, using a plunger and the other using a rubber sheet and smooth metal stool.

5-3-17: Students received a four page stapled pack for chapter 12 and were asked to scan it and solve CRWS 12.1 (page 2 of the pack) which we began in class. Students are to complete CRWS 12.1 and the key terms for chapter 12 for HW.

5-2-17: Students took the Chapter 9 exam. Key terms for chapter 12 are due Thursday.

5-1-17: I checked the HW and reviewed #15 and 16. I also showed a sample exam and reviewed/solved its problems.

4-28-17: We finished our review of the HW (CRWS 9.2 #12-14).. We continued to work problems and equations on actual, theoretical and percent yield. The exam will be Tuesday. We will review Monday. For HW students are to solve CRWS 9.2 #15-18.

4-27-17: I checked the HW as credit toward grade and went over the first two of three problems. We defined % yield and I discussed and demonstrated an Acid/Base reaction with regard to stoichiometry, indicators and titrations, topics we will explore further in chapters 13-15 later in the term.

4-26-17: We calculated #11 from yesterday using a different method (that used by the textbook). We also performed a demonstration a limiting and excess reactants using the Aluminum and Copper Chloride reaction studied on 2/27/17. For HW students are to solve CRWS 9.2 #12-14.

4-25-17: I distributed CRWS 9.2 and students were asked to solved #1-12. We reviewed #1-11 in class. I also checked the HW as credit toward grade.

4-24-17: Students were reminded to complete Friday's assignment. We reviewed the procedures outlined on the reference sheet given out that day. We completed the sample practice problem #3 from page 314. I assigned #39 and 40 from page 331. We went over #39 but students are to complete #40 for HW.

4-21-17: I was out for my son's white coat ceremony at Johns Hopkins. Students were asked to write and solve a stoichiometry problem and it for credit toward grade.

4-20-17: We discussed limiting and excess reactants. Yield is based on the limiting reactant. We examined abnd reviewed the sample problem on page 314.

4-19-17: We reviewed the HW. I checked it for grade.

4-18-17: Re reviewed the HW and completed 4 a and 4c as well. Students were asked to solved CRWS 9.1 #23. For HW students are to solve CRWS 9.1 #22 and #25.

4-17-17: We reviewed the practice problems on page 307. For HW students should try to solve P311 #4b.

4-7-17: I was out for a wedding. Students received an article about Madame Curie and are required to submit responses to prompts about the article as credit toward grade.

4-6-17: We reviewed CRWS 9.1 #1-13 in preparation for setting up stoichiometry equations like those that continue on the sheet and we solved for HW on 4/3. Students then produced a Free writing assignment on the prompt at the end of the "Don't stay in school video" linked on yesterday's blog.

4-5-17: Many students were out due to a school trip and the blood drive. We watched and discussed three videos, two about the scale of the universe, a 1977 short film titled Powers of 10, based on Kees Boeke's (1884-1966) paper "Cosmic View" published in 1957 and "Scale of the Universe" by contemporary rapper David Brown. The third video, also by David Brown, titled "Don't Stay in School" sent a mixed message; so. I add to his title, "...only after you are finally ready to apply your education; but never forget that you are a lifetime learner."

4-4-17: We reviewed the HW. We discussed the importance of setting up stoichiometry problems by having a balanced chemical equations (to get mole ratios) and a gram balanced chemical equations (to get mass ratios). Students were given the CRWS for Chapter 9 section 1. Although I expected to review the "Do-Now" (CRWS 9.1 #1-8) we did not get to it. We will review this tomorrow.

4-3-17: Students received a four-part sheet covering basic calculations in stoichiometry. They were asked to solve the five problems titled "Conservation of Mass" on page 64 of that sheet. We reviewed those problems. We had a refresher on molar mass then proceeded with #1 on page 65 of that sheet in the section titled "Mass relationships in Equations". For HW students are to complete #2-6. We also went over question #5 from the quiz.

3-31-17: Students took a post-unit assessment on the periodic table unit (pre-unit assessment was 10/31). This is for data collection purposes and counts as a 4th term classwork assignment, not an exam.

3-30-17: Students took the chapter 7 quiz, open notes, closed book.

3-29-17: We reviewed for the quiz covering all but sample problem I. The quiz will be tomorrow. It is closed book, open notes.

3-28-17: I checked and reviewed HW for grade. We began to review for the quiz on Thursday covering sample problems A and B in the text. The quiz will cover a problem like each of the text samples.

3-27-17: I checked and reviewed HW for grade. We discussed sample problem G from the text and went over the practice problems. For HW students are to solve CRWS 7.3 #6-8.

3-24-17: We covered sample problem G practice problems; I solved a few with the class then provided answers for the remaining items so that students can check their answers , determining empirical formulas from mass (or % mass) composition data. For HW students are to solve CRWS 7.3 #1-5.

3-23-17: I checked the HW for grade and we reviewed each problem. I introduced the concept of an empirical formula in preparation for our next set of problems covering empirical formula. Students are to preview this work by reading Sample G on text page 242-3 and reviewing the sample problems on page 243.

3-22-17: We discussed sample problem I on page 247. We reviewed the practice problems #1-4. For HW students are to complete CRWS 7.3 #11-15.

3-21-17: I checked the HW for grade and reviewed it. Students received CRWS 7.2. Students are asked to list each of the sample problems in the chapter for reference. The exam will have 9 calculation problems, the same types of problems in order, Sample A-I from the text.

3-20-17: I checked the HW for grade and reviewed it. We also learned how to calculate "Average Atomic Mass" as a % composition. We solved CRWS 7.2 #1 & 2. For HW students are to complete the "Molar Masses" worksheet, 10 three-part problems involving calculation of molar mass and conversions between moles and grams.

3-17-17: Students continued to practice calculations of molar mass. We reviewed P239#1a-f. They were shown a tabular method to use for these a future, more involved, calculations. For HW students are to complete CRWS 7.2 #3-8.

3-16-17: I reviewed the HW from 3-13 and provided a guide for calculating 6 types of conversions (moles to particles, particles to moles, grams to moles, moles to grams, particles to grams, and grams to particles). We described how to calculated molar mass. I demonstrated with CRWS 7.1 #6. For HW students are to complete CRWS 7.1 #7-10.

3-15-17: We performed calculations from text pages 228 and 229. We discussed how to use scientific notation on a calculator.

3-14-17: Snow day.

3-13-17: I checked the HW (key terms covering chapters 7 and 9) for grade. We discussed the mole concept. We defined Avogadro's number and created conversion factors. For HW, students are to try problems 1-5 on CRWS 7.1. These use the same calculation that are in sample problems A and B in chapter 7 section 1 p228 and 229.

3-10-17: We took the test for chapter 8.. Students received the CRWS, reference sheet for chapter 7.

3-9-17: We reviewed for the chapter 8 exam. Students saw a preview of the exam and we went over CWWS 8.4 #2-4 (a and b).

3-8-17: Students completed and we reviewed a constructed response on silver recovery using single and double displacement reactions. The chapter 8 exam will be Friday. Key terms for chapter 7 and 9 will be due Monday.

3-7-17: I checked and reviewed the HW from 3-3. We also went over p289 #10e. Students are to prepare for the chapter exam to be administered on Friday (not Thursday as announced in class). Key terms for chapter 7 and 9 will be due as HW for Monday..

3-6-17: Shorter class periods due to half day schedule. We defined the net ionic equation and reviewed #10C on text page 289. HW was not checked today.

3-3-17: We made comparisons of the two solubility tables. Students predicted the products of double displacement reactions that were demonstrated in class using an overhead projector. Fro HW, students are to complete CRWS 8.4, # 2f, 3f, and 4f.

3-2-17: We examined illustrations and solubility tables to help us predict precipitate products from aqueous double displacement reactions. Student are to compare the information contained within the two solubility tables printed on the back of the yellow periodic table reference sheet distributed in class.

3-1-17: We completed problems working with the activity series to predict products of single displacement reactions. I checked and reviewed the HW from 2-27 as credit toward grade. We also reviewed problems from text page 285 #9a,b,&c and #10c. Students are to preview chapter 8 section 4 for HW

2-28-17: We reviewed the practice problems on page 282.

2-27-17: We reviewed how to use the activity series to predict the products of single displacement reactions. I demonstrated the reaction of copper (II) chloride with aluminum and used the activity series to predict the products of the reaction. This is discussed on text page 280-281. For HW students are to solve CRWS 8.3 #10-13..

2-24-17: I rechecked the HW from two days ago again and we reviewed the problems. We discussed the concept of limiting and excess reactants. Students are to solve CRWS 8.3 #10-13 for HW over the weekend although it will not be checked for grade until we complete the activity series lesson.

2-23-17: I checked the HW and we reviewed combustion equation format. We discussed by products from combustion reactions that had limiting air (oxygen). Not enough people did the HW so I am checking it again for full credit tomorrow.

2-22-17: We reviewed four of the five types of chemical reaction classifications from chapter 8. Students are expected to classify the 15 equations from the balancing equations worksheet. We also watched a short clip of the 1943 movie, "Madame Curie", showing Becquerel's famous experiment of the discovery of radiation from pitchblende.

2-21-17: Students took a quiz on balancing equations following another review, Students are to continue with CRWS 8.3 #1-9 which we will review tomorrow.

2-17-17: Short day (and periods) due to report card conferences. I demonstrated UV sensitive beads with sunlight and a UV black light. For more information on the discovieries see: and related wikipedia articles. We balanced another equation for review. Students who need further help on balancing should consult various on-line videos via youtube,, or,

2-16-17: Short day (and periods) due to report card conferences. We reviewed any questions students had with balancing equations.

2-15-17: We reviewed some of the work from yesterday. Students saw the format of their quiz on balancing equations. I helped students solve any questions students had on the work assigned. Students were given the challenge to balance: Cu + HNO3 ---> NO + H2O + Cu(NO3)2 Two students solved this hard balance within 5 minutes.

2-14-17: I was at a professional development conference. Students were provided with a a practice sheet for chemical formulas and balancing chemical equations using the same techniques as the homework assigned yesterday.

2-13-17: I checked the HW and reviewed the balancing of two equations. We went over the techniques discussed in textbook examples A, B, and C on pages 269, 271, and 273. Students are to practice the balancing equations on those pages.

2-10-17: I checked and reviewed the HW. I handed out CRWS 8.2 which was accidentally omitted from the pack distributed 2-7. We discussed CRWS 8.2 #-1-3. For Homework, students are to read the example on text page 269 and solve problems 1-3 on that page.

2-9-17: No class - Snow day.

2-8-17: Students were asked to solve CRWS #1-3. We discussed this. I demonstrated (using students) single and double displacement reactions. We ventured into some of the scientific studies discussed in Mary Roach's book "Packing for Mars". Students who are interested in see more about life in space might wish to see Reference link #49. Students are to complete CRWS 8.1 for HW.

2-7-17:Students took the chapter 6 exam and received the chapter 8 reference pack.

2-6-17: I did not check key terms nor hand out the reference pack for chapter 8 due to lack of prep time for this class (I had to cover another class) Students were treated to two reaction demonstrations, one endothermic and one exothermic; the latter being the infamous "gummy bear torture". The chapter 6 exam will be tomorrow.

2-3-17: We completed the Ch 6 work and reviewed the HW. We will have a quiz on Ch 6 Tuesday. Key terms for Ch 8 are due Monday.

2-2-17: I checked and reviewed the HW. Students should be able to draw Lewis structures for covalent molecules and polyatomic ions with single, double, triple, and resonance bonds. Students are to use pages 206-7 to solve #15-25 on the CRWS pack 6.2, names of covalent molecules.

2-1-17: Students took their Midterm exam. HW is due tomorrow.

1-31-17: We discussed Lewis Structures for resonating molecules and polyatomic ions. Students were assigned for HW (due Friday) the problems on text page 203. We also reviewed the naming prefixes of covalent molecules. The Midterm covering chapters 1-6 is tomorrow.

1-30-17: I checked HW for credit toward grade then reviewed the problems (Lewis structures from text page 205). We finished a video on drawing Lewis structures. For additional practice, I solved CRWS 6.2 #12 which turns out to be a resonance structure (having two possible structures - resonating single and double bonds - we shall pick up on this tomorrow).

1-27-17: I checked and reviewed the HW. Students are to complete the problems on P205 for HW (multiple bonds).

1-26-17: Students were asked to read the example on page 202 then draw a Lewis structure for CF3H, triflouromethane. We reviewed its structure and its name then discussed the methane molecule. Students saw a demonstration of methane density and fuel/air ration using an exploding methane filled peanut can. For HW students are to complete CRWS pack 6.2 #8-10.

1-25-17: We reviewed the answers to CRWS pack 6.2 #1-8. I drew a Lewis structure for ethanol (C2H5OH) to illustrate how valance electrons, shared and unshared pairs of electrons are represented in the diagram. Students are to watch one of the three videos on item 119 of the reference tab on the left.

1-24-17: We reviewed the HW and I checked its completion for grade. I introduced Lewis structures. Student are asked to preview textbook section 6.2.

1-23-17: We students were asked to answer CRWS 6.1 #12-18. We reviewed #10-18. For HW students are to complete CRWS 6.1 #19-23.

1-20-17: Students had a chance to see a model of a four-stroke four cylinder gasoline engine. I explained how it worked and showed a video of a clear head single cylinder four-stoke engine (See reference item #71). We discussed the alcohols used a fuels in the video and fuel additives in gasoline. I briefly mention of the blindness caused by consumption of methanol. Students had the opportunity to compare the odor of ethanol and isopropanol. I continued with a demonstration of acetylene production (also a fuel demonstrated in the video) and its reaction with oxygen in the air from calcium carbide. As a grand finale, I fired the Conestoga "Big Bang" toy cannon which uses the same reaction to make the bang. As class dismissed, we watched a live stream feed of the presidential inauguration.

1-19-17: HW was checked and reviewed. We went over the HW and items in the textbook covered in section 6.1. Students were required to write and answer for CRWS 6.1 #9.

1-18-17: Students were given the CRWS pack for chapter 6 and told to complete questions 1-8 for HW. Students took a quiz on chapter 5. We reviewed the quiz before the end of class.

1-17-17: The midterm exam schedule is posted on the home page. The midterm is multiple choice and covers material from the start of the course. I counts as 20% of the term 2 grade. We completed the World of Chemistry Video #8, "Chemical Bonds" and students handed in their video sheet as credit toward grade.

1-13-17: Students were asked to name (NH4)3Fe(CN)6. We also reviewed #45-51 on CRWS 5.3. A quiz will occur in the near future.

1-12-17: Students completed the Common Assessment from yesterday.

1-11-17: Students took the GWHS chemistry common assessment on atomic theory. Most needed more time. I collected it and we will finish it tomorrow.

1-10-17: I continued our review of problems from CRWS 5.3. We got up to #44.

1-9-17: I checked the homework for credit toward grade and we reviewed problems up to #37. For the Do-Now, students were asked to name two tricky simple (?) ionic compound composed of just two types of atoms, H2O2, and Hg2F2. Both of these contained single atom type polyatomic ions, Peroxide, (O2) and Mercury (I), (Hg2). These are tricky because they are exceptions to the "Simple whole number ratio" protocol we discussed earlier in the course.

1-6-17: I checked and reviewed the HW and awarded credit toward grade. For HW over the weekend, students are to complete CRWS 5.3 #9-51 (I will not grade #32-37 but you should still do them to help you learn this material. You should really complete all of CRWS 5.3 1-8 for the same reason). As a short diversion, we also looked some links listed within reference items 114 & 115 covering topics in Astronomy.

1-5-17: I checked and graded the HW and reviewed common errors. For HW tonight, students are to complete problems in the text, P.184: #30-1, 33-34. We continued the world of chemistry video #8 on chemical bonds and I introduced the concept of a molecule (vs. an ionic compound).

1-4-16: Welcome back from holiday break. I did not check the homework but will do tomorrow. Students watched a short TED talk by Taylor Wilson (See reference item #8) and most of the longer one. We discussed energy generation from fusion and fission reactors. Students reviewed a schematic on a typical nuclear power plant; Taylor Wilson has some other ideas he discussed briefly in his second TED talk. I encouraged students to attend the "Science on Saturday" lectures at the PPPL (See reference item 41). There other free lectures students should seek out; check outreach programs at Penn, Temple, and Drexel. You never know the value of an education until you use it.

12-23-16: We watched "The Nuclear Boy Scout", a film about David Hahn (See reference number 8). The homework due date has been extended to after the holiday break.

12-22-16: Students were given a worksheet for simple and polyatomic ions in which they were to write the names and formulas. The completion of this sheet is is HW due tomorrow

12-21-16: We created a grid for determining the ratio of cations to anions in ionic formulas for combinations of charges ranging from 4+ to 4-. We applied this to problems #6 and 7 on p180. Students were also asked to identify the three polyatomic ions listed on the common ion table.

12-20-16: We defined Electron Neutrality and discussed how simple ionic compounds are named. Students were asked to read the skills toolkit on p 177 and solve p180#6. We will continued this work tomorrow.

12-19-16: We reviewed the answers to CRWS 5.1 #1-16. Students who are struggling might want to watch some of the tutorial videos on Khan Acadmeny or from a Google search.

12-16-16: We classified metallic, ionic, and covalent bonds using information from text page 197. We also looked a a few videos from Grant Thompson's, The King of Random youtube page: Starting a fire using graphite from a pencil, and rocket fuel (See reference link 26 and be safe!).

12-15-16: Students watched the first half of the World of Chemistry video #8 "Chemical bonds" and completed questions on a worksheet to be submitted upon conclusion of the video. We continued with demonstrations of the properties of ionic compounds (e.g. cooking a hotdog with electricity!).

12-14-16: Students continued with the CRWS from yesterday and were given a list of the 5 properties of ionic compounds.

12-13-16: I was out for Chemical Management training. Students received the concept review worksheet pack for chapter 5 and were asked to read the text and complete as much of the sheet as possible for review in class. Students are not to turn in these sheets but rather they are to remain in your notes.

12-12-16: Students were asked to answer the "Prereading questions" on p.157. We reviewed these in class. I also checked the HW (Key terms for chapter 5 & 6).

12-9-16: Students were asked to free write for 15 minutes, a response to a prompt introducing them to ionic compounds. I demonstrated the magnesium oxygen reaction and explained the reaction mechanism to help with this writing exercise. The papers were collected upon dismissal.

12-8-16: Today students completed their essays from the exam: 1 – Use electron configuration and element properties to explain why hydrogen and helium are sometimes separated from the periodic table. 2 – Describe how a chemist knows a substance is indeed an element and why column 18 and row 7 contain the last elements to be discovered. For HW due Monday, students are to write the key term definitions for chapter 5 and 6.

12-7-16: Students took the chapter 4 exam covering the periodic table while I labeled the last four blocks of my 1978 wall hanging with the names of the newest elements to be discovered. We, as a civilization, have reached an important milestone. The naming event occurred in June; the table, as we know it, is complete. When, and if, we discover the elusive "island of stability" proposed by Seaborg, it shall grow again. For further study and another extra credit point good only until tomorrow, briefly describe the "island of stability" and include your favorite illustration from a web search.

12-6-16: Students received a periodic table listing valance electron configuration then watched video #7, "The Periodic Table" for the World of Chemistry series (See reference item #3). Students submitted a video worksheet as credit toward grade. The chapter 4 exam will be tomorrow.

12-5-16: For credit toward grade, students performed the "Mendeleev Lab of 1869", and activity that allows students to see trends in the table and identify nine unknown elements based on their properties. The chapter 4 exam will be Wednesday. Students will be permitted their pink periodic table embellished with any notes they care to add to the sheet and a second periodic table showing electron configurations that I shall distribute tomorrow which can be similarly marked up.

12-2-16: It seems I lost track of a day. Please check you notes and e-mail me with course coverage for 12-2 and 12-1 for an extra credit point.

12-1-16: Students completed and submitted for grade a constructed response on periodic trends. We reviewed this in class (using camels!!??) and learned about the trends of density, melting and boiling points in the table.. Students who did not complete the paper can submit it tomorrow for full credit. The chapter 4 exam is coming up covering the topics from 4.1 to 4.3.

1-30-16: We continued discussing property trends in the periodic table and reviewing for the exam. The exam will be next week as early as Monday or Tuesday.

11-29-16: We reviewed the trend graphs from chapter 5 section 3 and I explained the properties of atoms in those graphs. We went over the format of the exam for chapter 4 (like in the reference worksheet). For this exam, students will be permitted only their marked up pink periodic table as a reference.

11-28-16: Students were asked to answer CRWS 4.2 #1-12. We reviewed this and then I asked students to continue with the remaining problems from CRWS 4.2. I demonstrated my "Atomic Size" model and discussed tow important trends (atomic size and tendency to form ions). We watched and discussed the "Elemental Funkiness" video from Mark Rosengarten to explore property trends on the periodic table. (See reference #23).

11-23-16: We continued the demonstration yesterday by melting the gallium spoon in a cup of hot water. I discussed the book. "The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements", a 2010 book by science reporter Sam Kean (A totally fantastic read - See reference item #21). We also reviewed the NFPA safety warning label and read the MSDS for gallium metal. Students are expected to know what an MSDS is and how to read an NFPA label.

11-22-16: Shorter period due to report card conference. Students were asked to label the 11 groups of elements on the periodic table onto the last page of their chapter 4 reference pack. We began discussing properties of the groups. We looked at gallium metal and created a "Disappearing Spoon" by melting gallium and casting it into a spoon mold.

11-21-16: Students are encouraged to read a book by P.W. Adkins, "The Periodic Kingdom", better still is Sam Kean's, "The Disappearing Spoon". We read an excerpt from "The Periodic Kingdom" and my "Ode to the Periodic Table". Students also watched a 14 minute video titled, "Ferocious Elements" introducing them to property trends on the table.

11-18-16: We discussed and reviewed all the questions from CRWS 4.1

11-17-16: We performed a writing and editing exercise, a draft 2 of the "Writing across the curriculum" activity from 10/27 of the essay, "The most important thing in chemistry is.....Why?". Before students wrote and submitted their drafts (can be completed for homework), we reviewed a writing criteria and applied it to two sample "Draft #1" writings on the periodic table.

11-16-16: Students were shown videos about elements on the periodic table (reference item #59). We discussed the history of the periodic table and watched a video of the discovery of elements over time. Students recieved the CRWS pack for chapter 4.

11-15-16: Students took the exam and received an extra credit puzzle sheet post exam. Dalton's 5 writings are due tomorrow.

11-14-16: The exam is tomorrow and covers the material from chapter 3. It is open note, closed book for all but the writing of Dalton'5 principles for memory. You can write them 5 times each to receive full credit for that portion of the exam or write them once from memory. Today we completed the Atomic Theory Timeline discussing the work of Chadwick, Gell-Mann, and Zweig.

11-10-16: We performed the Isotope activity for credit toward grade. Key terms for chapter 4 are due Monday. [Editors note: The "Key Term" homework was on the board 11-10 but not on the blog until 11-14. If you are reading this now and did not receive full credit, let me know you saw this note by the start of the exam, I will raise your grade to full credit even if that is when the key terms are shown to me; you have an extra day and must have read this blog.]

11-9-16: With both the SEPTA strike and term 1 over, we continued with electron configuration, reviewing the rules and performing the "Penny Activity" to reinforce the concept. We reviewed P108 #47-49.

11-7-16: We continued to discuss electron configuration notation and diagrams. Students identified the valence and inert electron on diagrams and in notation using page 3 of the part II reference pack.

11-4-16: Students continued to learn electron configuration notation and diagrams. We solved the practice problems #1 and 2 from sample problem C on text page 98 and 99.

11-3-16: We learned about the work of Schrodinger and how electrons can form clouds in s,p,d,and f orbital in accordance with his work. Students began to learn electron configuration notation and diagrams. We completed the Bill Nye Video and I collected the video worksheet for credit toward 2nd term grade.

11-2-16: I handed out the second part of the chapter 3 worksheet pack covering electron configuration. Absent can opt to solve all problems in chapter 3 section 3 using the on-line text and other resources such as wikipedia and khan academy to learn this material. Students were provided with alternative, simple wording for Hund's rule, the Pauli principle, and the Aufbau principle as follows: Hund's: "When there are multiple orbital clouds on the same energy level, electrons fill each cloud one at a time, spinning in the same direction, before they double up" (also remembered by the "Seats on the bus" analogy), Pauli: "Electrons fill orbital clouds in pairs and the spin in opposite directions", and Aufbau: "Electrons fill orbital clouds from the lowest energy level up." Students were asked to read the sample problem "C" on page 98 and solve its two practice problems. We finished the 13 section Bill Nye Video and I collected the video worksheet at class dismissal . Students who leveled into the class on 10/14 will be given credit for the first two sections of the worksheet.

11-1-16: We watched "Atomos, Atomos" form the Mark Rosengarten videos (Reference item 23). Students were also asked to mark up their pink periodic table with each row of each block (s,p,d,f) with the block row labels shown on text page 119. We began talking about electron configuration.

10-31-16: Students took the pre-unit assessment for the periodic table. We began an introduction to electron configuration after it was complete.

10-28-16: Students were asked to define Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation. We reviewed this. I discussed the Science on Saturday program at the PPPL We saw videos from Mark Rosengarten and simulations from the PHET collection related to nuclear fission. All these items can be found via the reference section of this site..

10-27-16: Students participated and received credit for a "Writing across the curriculum" exercise by completing two writing assignments. One was a free writing description of yesterday's demonstration and the other was simply writing for 5 minutes a response to; "The most important thing in chemistry is.....Why?".

10-26-16: Students used a spectroscope to see the spectra lines of hydrogen, neon, and mercury. Students were asked to identify the colors of the spectral lines for lithium and potassium using the information provided on page 776 and figure 18 on page 92 of the text.

10-25-16: We discussed the Bohr model of the atom and completed the first square on the bottom row of the the Atomic Theory Timeline. We continued watching the Bill Nye video, having just started section "Radiation" (29:55).

10-24-16: We discussed Rutherford's gold foil experiment. Students should have completed the top half of the Atomic Theory Timeline graphic organizer. I showed a 1930's vintage spectroscope and we continued the Nye video to 27:39.

10-21-16: We continued the video to 20:59 with discussion along the way. Based on a segment from the video, students were asked to draw a model from the textbook with a single, double, and triple bonds (chapter 6 stuff, we will learn later)

10-20-16: Students were asked to sketch the Thomson's CRT (labeled) into their notebook. We discussed its operation and later applications (e.g. television tubes and CRT computer monitors) and how Thompson was bale to prove electrons had both mass and charge, and were present in all matter. We continued the Bill Nye video from 10-13-16 up to 15:18 (Chemical Structure via the discoveries by August Kekule).

10-19-16: Students were asked to calculate the average atomic mass of a yttrium sample and hypothesis a reason to explain why it would differ from that on the periodic table (different isotope mixture or measurement error). We had a short class due to PSAT and SAT testing.

10-18-16: Students were asked to verify the average atomic mass of lead using the data from table 4 on page 88 using a weighted average calculation. We filled in the first two blocks of the atomic theory timeline from the chapter 3 reference pack.

10-17-16: We continued our discussion of the nucleus, calculating mass number and parts of the atom from given data. We also reviewed Dalton's 5 principles once again. We solved P86 practice problems 1-4. For Extra credit, watch the Antares rocket launch at 7:40 pm tonight visible in our southern skies (launched from the Virgia coast, we will see it around 90 seconds later). Take a selfie of you with the rocket trail in the background (or have someone else take the picture) then show it to me to receive the credit.

10-14-16: Additional students added to the class today as a result of leveling. These new students were provided with a syllabus and reference pack for chapter 3. We reviewed CRWS 3.2 #19. Students learned how to write symbols for isotopes and how mass number was determined by the number of particles in the nucleus.

10-13-16: We reviewed and practiced memorizing Dalton's 5 principles (will be required for chapter 3 exam). After a comment about copying video work, watched a few videos on why not to cheat (see "References" item 104). We then finished the section of the Bill Nye started on 10-10 (see link to watch the video outside of class).

10-11-16: Students received the first reference pack for chapter 3 covering materials up to but NOT including the details of electron configuration. Students wrote Dalton's 5 principals of atomic theory. We discussed the principles then disproved a few in a further discussion of nuclear reactions, a science that developed since the time of Dalton. We continued the video from yesterday to 7:40.

10-10-16: Students were given a paper with Friday's assignment on it. Those who completed it were asked to just staple their work to the paper and hand it in. We began a video by Bill Nye titled The Greatest Discoveries in Chemistry (The video is linked as item #27 on the reference tab on the left. A worksheet was provided that students are to complete as each of the 13 sections of the video plays. An extra credit was offered: Visit the Chemical Heritage Museum in Philadelphia (See item #68 on the reference links) and provide some proof you were there (a photo or brochure) and a paragraph describing one of the displays. We got to 3:00 into the video.

10-7-16: We had more cryogenic demonstrations, this time with liquid nitrogen. Students had a chance to breath and taste nitrogen (one breath only!). I poured it from one container to another. I froze a flower, some rubber tubing, and a rubber ball (smash!!). Students were permitted to pick up a piece of tubing from a dish of liquid nitrogen to feel it boil on their skin for a moment and see how rock hard the rubber became at low temperature. We extinguished a candle in nitrogen gas. We aso collapsed a balloon and watched it refill observing liquid oxygen in the balloon. Students are asked to write for credit toward their grade and explanation of the following two statements using the vocabulary words from the list the follows the statements. "Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide, CO2, and sublimes at -78.5 degree celsius" and "Liquid nitrogen boils at 77K (-195.8 degree celsius)." The words students are to use in their explanation (variations of the words are permitted such as boiling or boils) are: Solid, Liquid, Gas, Boiling, Sublimation, Heat, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Absolute Zero, Temperature, Fahrenheit, Frozen, Compound, Atom, Element, and Mixture.

10-6-16: We experimented with dry ice after a safety briefing: Examine dry ice sublimations (clouds of water vapor form - the air hockey puck on a table). Each student got a small piece. We examined density (sinks in a column of water). We discussed absolute zero and kinetic molecular theory. We extinguished a suspended candle in CO2 vapor (covered beaker) and compared to the gas generated from vinegar and baking soda (same). We burned Mg in air then in CO2 and compared/discussed the reaction products. We saw carbon dioxide dissolves in water and makes carbonic acid using color changing pH indicators. We liquify dry ice in cut disposable pipette held under water closed tight with a pliers (it explodes!). Some breathed and tasted CO2 by inhaling lightly from a bag and felt the urge to breath heavily if concentrated and recognized the taste as that of carbonated soda gas. We discussed uses (ice cream trucks coolers, sand blasting, camping coolers - no soggy food!).

10-5-16: Students took the unit 1 exam covering chapters 1 & 2 in the text. Key term definitions for chapter 3 are due tomorrow.

9-29-16: Its a good thing I postponed the exam: My apologies for the lack of notice; at 2:25pm yesterday, I received an e-mail notifying me that I was selected to attend an all day professional development session covering "Writing across the curriculum" and that my classes would be covered by a substitute. Students were expected to prepare for the exam using the "Standardized text prep" questions at the end of chapters 1 and 2 (pages 35 and 71). The answers were provided to the substitute. Key terms for chapter 3 are due next Thursday.

9-28-16: By popular request, the exam has been moved to Wednesday, the day we return from the long weekend. Tomorrow, we will review for the exam and possibly begin chapter 3. Key terms for the chapter 3 will be due Thursday after the exam. Today we reviewed the factor unit method of conversions and a bit on the metric system of measurement (SI units and prefixes). We converted the speed of light from meters per second to miles per hour using the equality of 1 mile equals 1.609 kilometers.

9-27-16: I announced that the unit exam covering materials from chapters 1 and 2 will be on Thursday. We reviewed calculations involving significant figures (page 67 #25-29). Students are encouraged to get a scientific or graphing calculator for use in high school and for college entrance exams (see home page). I did not check yesterday's HW, yet.

9-26-16: Students received the math pack and we continued our discussion of accuracy and precision. We reviewed significant figures. students received credit toward grade for completing #1-14 on page two of the "Math Pack". For HW, students are to complete the remainder of the problems in the pack.

9-23-16: Students were asked to solve P71 #11, P 68 #48, and P67 #30. We discussed significant figures in recording and calculating measurements.

9-22-16: We explored the calculations and measurements to needed to find density. Students compared the density for four identical sized blocks. We also examined two cylinders of similar qualitative properties (i.e. how they looked and felt relative to each other). We measured the mass and volume of one of the blocks then calculated its density. We took the corresponding cylinder and measured its mass to be 175.3 grams, its length to be 113.5 mm and its diameter to be 15.8 mm. For HW students are to calculate its density in grams per cm^3.

9-21-16: We reviewed calculation of density with problems 12 and 14 on page 19 of the text. We discussed the factor unit method and prefixes in the SI (metric) system.

9-20-16: Students were asked to make a bar graph of the liquid and solid densities listed on Table 4 of page 17. The graphs were evaluated for proper scale and labeling of both independent and dependant variables. Those who finished were to complete problems 12 and 14 on page 19 of the text.

9-19-16: Students received a reference worksheet to review the names and functions of various lab equipment. Students completed 10 questions on the worksheet as we discussed them. Students were also introduced the to NFPA hazard warning label and told about Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's).

9-16-16: Students were provided with a structured note sheet (Concept Review) covering materials for chapter 1. We reviewed chemical and physical changes and I demonstrated both the dissolving of polystyrene with acetone and the sublimation of iodine crystals.

9-15-16: Student created a drawing of a distillation apparatus based on an equipment setup on the demonstration table. I also checked key terms for credit toward grade. These definitions are to stay in your notebook for review before exams.

9-14-16: Students copied figure 5 from page 381 into their notes. We discussed exothermic and endothermic changes. I demonstrated an endothermic reaction using vinegar and baking soda.

9-13-16: We completed the "Pre-Course" assessment review and students turned in the paper as credit toward thier grade having indicated the number of questions they got correct, wrong, or didn't know . We also discussed crude oil (origin, discovery, products, and properties - yes, we set some on fire!!!).

9-12-16: Students were asked to take the "Pre-Course" assessment to help identify and preview the topics covered by the course. The assessment will be handed in as credit toward grade. We reviewed the questions up to item 16. We will complete it tomorrow.

9-9-16: Shorter periods due to noon time dismissal (hot weather). We began to explore section 1 of chapter 1. Fro HW students are to write key term definitions for all sections of chapter one in a list form with the actual terms numbered and/or highlighted for easy reference. I demonstrated the flying wish paper.

9-8-16: We reviewed the textbook chapter titles and discussed course coverage and the order in which we would study the chapters (1,2,3,4,5,6,8,7,9,12,11,13,14, and 15). We briefly spoke about the composition of the atmosphere and the development of the atomic bomb project as it relates to nuclear science.

9-7-16: First day of class. I hope you felt welcome and enthused about the subject. Students received a hard copy print of the syllabus to keep in their notebook and were assigned seats. Note: The syllabus is available in digital format as item #1 on the tab titled "Assignments /EC" on the left. I demonstrated the flaming textbook and described how it worked. Your homework tonight is three fold: 1) Complete the two-part prompt handed out in class, 2) Assemble a 3-ring binder notebook with a dedicated section for Chemistry to include: Key Terms, notes, and handouts, and to visit this website to read the update I entered after 3:00 pm. HERE IS THE UPDATE: (4:25 pm). Write your seat number next to your name on the syllabus sheet you received in class. Display it on your desk when I walk around to check it.