Under Pressure – Introduction to Gas Laws

Class began with a brief review of yesterday’s exit task in which students were asked to analyze real data comparing the effect of exam color and having notes on the exam.  The data was graphed as individual dots, and the average (mean) was shown.  The analysis also included the p value for a t-test, and students learned how to interpret the p value in the context of statistical significance.  For details on how to conduct a t-test, see the Keep Learning! section at the bottom of this post.

Our mini Gas Laws unit began with a brief silent video introducing the Gas Laws.  Students were tasked with making written observations and then we held a class discussion and produced a chart of what they Know, Think They Know, and Need to Know.  Next, students were introduced to Robert Boyle, one of the great chemistry scientists from history who contributed greatly to our understanding of Gas Laws. Students completed a guided notes handout while watching the video and discussed responses after.  To watch the video outside of class, request a passcode from Mr. Swart.

Note: Many of the lesson materials for this unit are supplied by the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) and require a membership to access.

The lesson concluded with a gas pressure simulation lab activity in which students worked in groups to simulate the movement of gas molecules, observing how a changing the temperature, volume, and number of molecules affects the pressure of a gas.

Notes from class:

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Keep Learning!

Want to learn more about the t-test?  Check out the video below:


For the second day of the lesson, we began with an entry task in which students were instructed to use Boyle’s Law (PV=k) to solve three different problems, each missing one of the three variables in Boyle’s Law.  Next, we reviewed what went well and strategies for improving the lab we started yesterday based on criteria (lab objectives) and constraints (barriers/realities).  After agreeing on a plan forward, students had the remainder of the class period to work through the modified lab and then finish the analysis questions on the back of the lab handout.

Class Notes:

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For the final day of the lesson, students will complete the Friday Quiz (click here!) and then have the remainder of class to complete the lab from yesterday.  For homework, students should analyze any remaining video from the lab and then work through the analysis questions on the back of the lab handout.  Students should also review the PowerPoint (Unit 3 Vocabulary).

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