Receptor Site Theory

For our final day of school before Winter Break, we learned the content of Lesson 41 through Episode 6 of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s version of Cosmos.  In addition to briefly explaining receptor-site theory, the episode also explains, indirectly, why water isn’t wet (electron repulsion).  Students should complete Lesson 41 textbook problems 1-8 over the break (p. 211).

Covalent Bonds Gizmo

For today’s Covalent Bonds Gizmo activity, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the Explore Learning website.
  2. Click the Login/Enroll button (upper right).
  3. Select Chemistry from your list of classes.
  4. Launch the Covalent Bonds Gizmo.
  5. Complete the Covalent Bonds Gizmo worksheet with a partner.

For students who have not yet created an account:

  1. Enter the class code (P2 = HF4JLBZBLL and P3 = Z7WCNPXCV4).
  2. Click the Enroll in Class button.
  3. Choose “I need to create…” option.
  4. Enter your First and Last name (not email!)
  5. Use your student numer (s-#######) as your username.
  6. Enter birthdate as password (MMDDYYYY)
  7. Click “Submit”
  8. Launch the Covalent Bonds Gizmo.
  9. Complete the Covalent Bonds Gizmo worksheet.

Central Dogma

After wrapping up the discussion from the previous day’s lesson about The Double Helix, we launched into an investigation of the process of Central Dogma.  Students learned how DNA codes for RNA which codes for protein, with everyone drawing out the notes shown below.  We drew out the processes of transcription and translation, using a guided worksheet approach to help students understand what happens at each step of the process.  We worked through worksheet question 15 (identifying codons) and will continue our exploration of Central Dogma and complete the worksheet packet tomorrow.

Click to enlarge

Update: 12/13/17

We completed drawing our model of Central Dogma and then students had the remainder of the class period to work through the worksheet from yesterday.  Drawings were collected (students will receive credit for their work) and the worksheet is due by Friday for credit.  Below is an updated picture of our model:

Click to enlarge

Space-Filling Models

Lesson 39 introduces students to the concept of space-filling models.  The lesson calls for students to use space-filling models which we do not have access to at our school.  Rather than continue to use the ball-and-stick models, students instead worked in pairs and used MolView, a free software program available online.  Using MolView, students searched for the compounds in the Lesson 39 Worksheet using the search tool.  They then visualized the molecules as space-filling models using the van der Waals Spheres option located under the Model tab.  Although not particularly helpful, the Lesson 39 PowerPoint is included.  For homework, students are assigned questions 3-7 from page 203 of the textbook.

Initial Ideas / The Double Helix

Before transitioning to Unit 4: DNA, we launched class with a short movie starring Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson which served to remind everyone why the study of science is so vital to our democracy:

Next, we followed up on the House A freshmen advisory meeting from last week in the gym (focusing on attendance, behavior, and grades) by reviewing specific sections of the syllabus .

Finally, we launched Unit 4 by reviewing the Unit 4 calendar and then holding a brief class discussion in which students shared out what they know (or think they know) already about DNA.  Students then received a worksheet with questions that were answered by watching The Double Helix video.  The completed worksheet will be turned in tomorrow.

Electron Domains

We breezed through Lesson 37 with a demonstration connecting molecular formula and shape.  Students learned:

  • noble gases (single atoms) are visualized as points
  • molecules consisting of two atoms (i.e. hydrogen fluoride) are linear
  • molecules consisting of three atoms can be bent (H2O) or linear (CO2)
  • molecules consisting of four atoms, like ammonia (NH3) are called pyramidal
  • molecules consisting of five atoms, like methane (CH4) are called tetrahedral

For homework, students were assigned Lesson 37 textbook problems 5-9 on page 195.

We spent the remainder of the class period delving into the science required to successfully answer the question: Is water wet?