A Look Inside the Lab with Mr. Wisdo

March 05, 2023

What have Honors and AP Chemistry students been exploring in Mr. Wisdo's science lab? He explains on the blog! 

The Chem-is-KEY Escape Room

20230222_093732Students in Honors Chemistry partook in an escape room during lab this week! Students were "trapped" inside the chemistry room and needed to escape by finding the key to the door. In order to escape, students needed to unravel the mystery of a strange key wrapped in a "dangerous" aluminum alloy and use lab materials oddly left at their lab stations. Each lab group needed to retrieve the key from its aluminum case and determine how much aluminum was encasing the key. During the escape room, students practiced developing a procedure for their escape, utilized a single replacement reaction, used filtration to separate components, and identified limiting and excess reagents used during the room.

Experimenting to Explore Equilibrium

20230217_133158Students in AP Chemistry jumped into using a microscale technique to determine the solubility product constant of calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)₂. The solubility product constant, Ksp, is an equilibrium constant. The equilibrium is formed when an ionic solid dissolves in water to form a saturated solution. The equilibrium exists between the dissolved ions and the undissolved solid. Students used serial dilutions of the reaction between calcium nitrate and sodium hydroxide to determine when the equilibrium of calcium hydroxide is reached. They were able to physically see this equilibrium through the lack of and then formation of a white calcium hydroxide precipitate, which is why the flashlights were used to help see them! Students will next complete an analysis of their experimentally determined Ksp against the actual value  and determine what ways they could improve the experiment to improve the accuracy of their results.


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