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ChemSense Activities
ChemSense activities are designed to help students connect observations of phenomena with both macroscopic and nanoscopic representations, and to examine this connection to explain observable phenomena in terms of the underlying mechanisms. Feel free to use or adapt the following activity template and sample activities developed by our partner teachers, and send us your activities if you'd like to have them posted here.

Activity Template [PDF] or [Word]. Activity "cover sheet" with information such as the target audience for the activity, the ChemSense tools used, the concepts in the activity, the link to standards,etc.
Activity Template Guidelines [PDF] or [Word]. Guidelines for using the activity template cover page.

Sample Activities Developed by our Partner Teachers

Activity Title Topic Description Download
Getting to Know You Background In this introductory activity students will learn how to log in to ChemSense, set up their personal folders, and create a simple molecule. PDF or Word
Break it Down Matter In this activity students will use ChemSense to explore and demonstrate their understanding of the classification of matter. PDF or Word
What is that Matter Matter In this introduction to classification activity, students will use ChemSense to draw and compare elements, compounds and mixtures. PDF or Word
Stoichiometry Stoichiometry This activity is designed to have students animate the formation of water molecules from molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. PDF or Word
Crazy Chemistry Stoichiometry In this activity students master their understanding of balanced equations through the study of hydrocarbon combustion, single displacement, and double displacement reactions.

teacher PDF or Word

student PDF or Word

Picture This Solutions In this activity students use ChemSense to visualize ionic and molecular compounds in different phases

teacher PDF or Word

student PDF or Word)

Dissolving Process Solutions In this activity students animate the dissolving process of sodium chloride in water.

teacher PDF or Word

student PDF or Word

It's a Gas Gasses In this activity students will animate gas behavior for three different scenarios of gases under various conditions. Students will be able to identify and describe various gas laws.

teacher PDF or Word

student PDF or Word

Charles Law Gasses This activity is designed to have students demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between volume and temperature, commonly called Charles’ Law PDF or Word
Thermodynamics Thermodynamics This activity is designed to support the study of thermodynamics and the flow of energy. This activity will follow an experiment where the student designs and manufactures a cold pack. PDF or Word
Atomic Radii Periodic Table and Trends In this activity students use data of the atomic radii of the first 36 elements to construct a graph and interpret any trends(s) based on a computer generated graph. PDF or Word
The Octet rule Orbital Diagrams Students use ChemSense to learn that atoms bond in such a way to obtain 8 valence electrons. PDF or Word
Structural formulas and Lewis dot structures Orbital Diagrams Students practice translating between structural formulas and Lewis dot structures. Students are introduced to double and triple bonds. PDF or Word
Orbital Diagrams Orbital Diagrams This activity is designed to provide a systematic way for students to represent the electron configuration for the element boron. PDF or Word
Lewis Dots and Molecular Shapes Orbital Diagrams In this activity students practice drawing Lewis dot structures and predict molecular shapes using ChemSense. PDF or Word
Molecular structures Bonding Students begin to understand the rationale for molecular structures, using the HONC 1234 rule that indicates the number of bonds that each element typically forms. PDF or Word
Valance electrons and bonding Bonding Students relate lines representing bonds in structural formulas to dots representing valence electrons in Lewis dot structures. PDF or Word
Hybridization Bonding In this activity students create models for the hybridization of carbon’s orbitals. PDF or Word
Ion Formation Bonding This activity is designed as a summative assessment to test the student’s understanding of the formation of ions through the gain or loss of electrons. PDF or Word
Sharing is Caring Bonding In this activity students use ChemSense to review and practice covalent bonding of molecular compounds. PDF or Word
Sharing VS Stealing Bonding In this activity students use ChemSense to identify compounds as either primarily ionic or primarily covalent by recognizing patterns among the properties of various chemicals. PDF or Word
Water Wiggles Bonding Students learn the relationship between kinetic/potential energy of the structure of water as it experiences phase changes from solid through melting, and from melting through boiling. PDF or Word
The "Not So Big Picture" Molecular Forces In this activity students use ChemSense to visualize and understand intermolecular forces.

teacher PDF or Word

student PDF or Word

Holding It Together Molecular Forces In this activity students use their knowledge of molecular shape and polarity to recognize the interaction between molecules (intermolecular forces), use investigative laboratory experience to interpret evaporations at the molecular level, and investigate the correlation between strength of intermolecular forces and the rate of evaporation/magnitude of the temperature change during evaporation. PDF or Word
Players in the Game Molecular Forces In this activity students use ChemSense to observe and recognize molecules as three-dimensional structures. PDF or Word
Tug of War Polarity In this activity students use ChemSense to understand and visualize a model for bond polarity in molecules. PDF or Word
Whose Team Are You On Anyways? Polarity In this activity students use ChemSense to use knowledge of molecular shape and bond polarity to determine molecular polarity PDF or Word
Crystal Violet Kinetics Rates of Reaction and Kinetics This activity is designed to follow a kinetics experiment where students have seen a chemical reaction that changes concentration over time. The students will demonstrate their understanding of the chemical reaction by designing an animation that shows a solution’s color diminishing over time. The animation should be displayed in split-screen, a rate-curve and the color change for the same reaction. PDF or Word
Acid-base dissociation Acid-Base The student will use the Arrhenius concept to represent acids and bases as they dissociate and release hydrogen and hydroxide ions. The student will create an animation that illustrates the dissociation of acids and bases to release hydrogen and hydroxide ions. PDF or Word
Neutralization of a base by an acid Acid-Base In Part 1 the student will perform an acid-base titration to calculate the concentration of the base and record the pH data for use during Part 2, the ChemSense animation of the reaction. PDF or Word
Electrochemical Cell Electro Chemistry Students create models of an electrochemical cell. PDF or Word
Identification of functional groups Organic Students learn to identify four common functional groups in small organic molecules. PDF or Word
Ester synthesis lab Organic Students perform an ester synthesis lab experiment and use ChemSense to predict the structure of the product formed and model the reaction process. PDF or Word

Older Activities, Developed by the ChemSense Team
Solubility Version 1 [PDF] or [Word] (used at Kennedy High School in Fremont, March 2000)
Solubility Version 2 [PDF] or [Word] (used at San Leandro High School, December 2000)
The Solubility module is a multi-week module that covers a wide range of concepts: vapor pressure and solution equilibrium, molecular solvation, and factors affecting solubility, miscibility, dispersion, and colligative properties of solutions. Molecular geometry is the predominate chemical dimension that governs the underlying solubility mechanisms in the Solubility module.

Soap [PDF] or [Word] (used at San Leandro High School, January 2000)
The Soap module is a multi-week module that focuses on understanding that the complex chemical process of saponification can be understood by focusing on more discrete concepts--mixing of substances, chemistry of water, solubility, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity--and then synthesizing these ideas. Aggregation and connectivity are the predominate chemical dimensions represented in the Soap module.

Miscellaneous
ChemSense Practice Activity [PDF] or [Word] (used at San Leandro High School, May 2002)
Pasco Overview [PDF] (used at San Leandro High School, December 2000)
Overview and setup of PASCO data collection tools.

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