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Chemistry: Concepts & Practices™

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Grades 9–12. Chemistry: Concepts & Practices™ is a comprehensive, standards-based high school chemistry curriculum. Develop scientific literacy, problem-solving skills, and disciplinary core ideas mandated by state and national standards. Each “Learning Experiences” eBooks set offers a semester of instruction, captures student interest with relevant, real-life case studies, and supports varied instructional strategies and learning styles. Teacher’s Guide eBooks offer complete instructional aid.

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Real-world challenges that students solve through hands-on activities, authentic text, and group discussions

Grades 9–12. 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™
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 agents—baking soda, baking powder, and yeast.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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