- Aligned with Big Idea 1 and Learning Objective 1.15
- Emphasizes Science Practices 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7
Introduce students to the mechanics of molecular spectroscopy and how electromagnetic radiation interacts with molecular compounds. Teach this laboratory experience using either the guided activity or inquiry activity. For guided inquiry, students graphically determine the optimum wavelength (lambda max) for primary-color food dyes and identify these dyes in mixtures using percent transmittance and absorption measurements. They also investigate if the concentration of a compound(s) in solution affects emission and absorption spectra.
In the inquiry activity, students develop a procedure for graphically identifying the optimum wavelength for maximum absorbance and minimum transmittance for primary-color food dyes. They also develop a procedure for determining if dye concentration affects percent transmittance and absorption measurements, and a procedure for identifying 2 or more dyes in a mixture of primary dyes. The inquiry activity provides opportunity for students to present their experiment design and results, reinforcing the practice of communicating findings. Detailed preparation and procedure notes guide you through leading a successful inquiry exercise, including a suggested rubric for assessing student performance.
Both activities include Big Idea Assessment questions that follow the format of the AP® Chemistry Exam free-response questions. In the Big Idea Assessment, students receive various types of transmission and absorption spectra, both in the visible and near visible range (UV and IR), for analysis and conclusions.
This kit provides the following AP® Chemistry experiences: design a procedure to analyze data, justify the selection of the kind of data needed to answer a scientific question, use theoretical models to explain observed data, evaluate sources of data to answer a scientific question, and justify claims with evidence. Materials are sufficient for 30 students. Digital teacher’s manual, included FREE with kit purchase or sold separately, is a 12-month eBook license to the Molecular Spectroscopy teacher’s manual. You can also access the digital student guide for this kit for free at
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