Real-world challenges that students solve through hands-on activities, authentic text, and group discussions
Grades 912. Introducing a new comprehensive, standards-based high school chemistry curriculum. Chemistry: Concepts & Practices™ enables students to develop scientific literacy, practice 21st-century problem-solving skills, and understand disciplinary core ideas mandated by state and national standards. This curriculum consists of modular “Learning Experiences” that:
Offer a full year of chemistry instruction, integrating STEM and Common Core ELA support
- Capture and sustain student interest with relevant, real-life case studies taken from the headlines
- Support a variety of instructional strategies to accommodate different learning styles
- Are teacher and student tested
What Teachers Are Saying
“It’s a CURRICULUM! Not a simple textbook.”
“Because of the stories, student participation has increased 100-fold.”
“The strengths of the curriculum included the requirement of students thinking, analyzing, and questioning rather than just memorizing stuff. Overall, our Ohio Graduate Test results were higher than in the past.”
Description of the Complete Student Learning Experiences for Chemistry: Concepts & Practices™
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 1
Mystery of the Hindenburg Disaster: Examining Scientific Evidence
Substances and mixtures, physical and chemical properties, physical and chemical changes.
Students determine factors that led to the fire on and subsequent crash of the Hindenburg. Students propose a cause for the fire.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 2
Anthrax Scare: Physical and Chemical Properties
Substances, mixtures, physical and chemical properties.
Students measure the properties of white powders and use their results to determine the identity of an anthrax hoax.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 3
It’s in the Cards: The Periodic Table
Compounds and elements, periodic table, periodic properties, atomic number, chemical formulas.
Students observe the decomposition of water into elements and sort and organize element cards in order to build their own periodic table.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 4
Project Oil Cleanup: Physical Properties and Physical Change
Physical changes at the macro and micro levels, states of matter, mixtures, separations, conservation of mass in physical changes.
Students work as a team to decontaminate and separate the components of crude oil after Hurricane Katrina.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 5
Heat It Up, Cool It Down: Energy in Physical Changes
Endothermic and exothermic physical processes, intermolecular bonds.
Students investigate how water puts out fires and look for an alternative way to put out fires.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 6
Copper and the Statue of Liberty: Chemical Changes
Chemical changes at the macro and micro levels, chemical reaction types, conservation of mass in chemical changes, ratios in chemical changes, balancing equations.
Students learn how the copper used to make the Statue of Liberty was obtained and extract copper from an ore.
PROJECT 1 (optional; available in Teacher’s Guide only)
Baking Soda or Baking Powder?
Chemical change, reaction types, balancing equations, and conservation of mass.
Students extend their understanding of chemical reactions by comparing three leavening agentsbaking soda, baking powder, and yeast.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 7
Making It Happen: Energy in Chemical Reactions
Endothermic and exothermic chemical processes, chemical bonds, kinetic theory.
Students investigate the properties of phosphorus and its application in matches and design a new product using exothermic and endothermic reactions.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 8
Science Detectives: The Structure of the Atom
Protons, neutrons, and electrons; nucleus; energy levels; orbitals.
Students investigate the structure of the atom by role-playing various scientists who contributed to the current atomic theory.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 9
Based on Carbon: Chemical Bonds
Electron dot symbols; octet rule; ionic, covalent, and metallic bonding.
Students investigate bonding in various compounds and investigate carbon compounds in particular.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 10
The Power of Plastics: Polymers
Polymers, molecular synthesis, structure-properties relationship.
Students explore the relationship between structure and properties in natural and synthetic polymers with a focus on plastics.
PROJECT 2 (optional; available in Teacher’s Guide only)
Building by Design and by Accident
Substances and mixtures, physical and chemical properties, physical and chemical changes, structure-properties relationship.
Students determine what starting conditions for a chemical reaction will result in a polymer with the most “bounce.”
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 11
You Are Made of Stardust: The Origin of Elements on Earth
Nuclear fusion, atomic mass, isotopes, electronegativity, atomic radius, ionization energy.
Students learn how elements are created within stars and are introduced to some specific characteristics of atoms.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 12
The New Inventors: Alloys and Atoms
Solid state, alloys, metals, crystals, manipulation of physical structure to achieve specific properties, mole concept.
Students investigate the properties of a base metal and one of its alloys and model alloying at the atomic level. Students convert from grams to ratios of atoms and from ratios of atoms to grams.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 13
Water and Sodium in the Body: Investigating Water-Based Solutions
Liquid state, ionic bonds, ions; solutions, solubility, diffusion, osmosis, mole concept.
Students investigate dissolving and observe what happens when a membrane is placed between solutions with different concentrations of salt.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 14
Breathless in the Quecreek Mine: Air as a Mixture
Gas state, covalent bonds, diffusion, mole concept, gas laws.
Students examine the composition of air, how the composition of air changes during breathing, and learn the relationships among pressure, volume, moles, and temperature in a gas.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 15
How Much CO2? Quantifying Chemical Reactions
Hydrocarbons, combustion, balancing equations, stoichiometry, exothermic reactions, endothermic reactions, activation energy, specific heat capacity, heat of combustion, calorimeter, thermochemistry.
Students investigate burning and learn how to quantify the products of burning, carbon dioxide and energy. Students then apply what they learned to calculate how much carbon dioxide is released and how much energy is used daily by an average American household.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 16
Can the Rivers and Lakes Be Saved? Understanding Acids and Bases
Arrhenius acids and bases, hydrogen ions, hydroxide ions, Bronsted-Lowry acids and bases, hydronium ions, pH scale, acid-base reactions, buffering, Le Chatelier’s principle.
Students use indicators to identify common examples of acids and bases and carry out an acid-base neutralization. Students then measure the pH of water in their area and also investigate the water’s buffering capacity.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 17
What Will Fuel the Future? Investigating Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
Voltaic cell, oxidation-reduction reactions, electrochemical reaction, current, voltage, electrodes, half-reactions, fuel cells, efficiency.
Students investigate how batteries and a hydrogen-powered fuel cell work. They apply what they learned to design an energy system for a home that uses hydrogen fuel cells and rechargeable batteries to provide a reliable flow of electricity.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 18
Collision Chemistry: Exploring Reaction Rates
Collision theory, reaction rates, factors influencing reaction rates.
Students design experiments to increase the rates of reactions in various scenarios.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 19
No Supernova Needed: Nuclear Reactions in the Laboratory
Radioactivity, isotopes, nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, nuclear strong force.
Students learn how fusion in the laboratory is used to create super heavy elements, and why these elements are radioactive. They propose which elements might fuse to make a new super-heavy element.
LEARNING EXPERIENCE 20
Assassination in London: Understanding Radioactive Decay
Radioactivity, isotopes, band of stability, alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, alpha decay, beta decay, half-life, radioactive decay series, fission, fusion.
Students study naturally-occurring radioactive isotopes, radioactive decay, decay series, and half-life. They apply what they learned to identify the likely radioactive isotope used as a poison in a murder case.
PROJECT 3 (optional; available in Teacher’s Guide only)
The Future of Energy and Earth
Chemical reactions, nuclear reactions, energy.
Students research alternatives to burning fossil fuels for energy and weigh the costs and benefits of each.