Connected Chemistry is a set of related
chemistry units for students and teachers. These units include
activities, which use multi-agent NetLogo models. In each of the Connected
Chemistry activities, participants open simulations and
“play” with them, exploring particle behavior and system properties under
various conditions. The user interface is intuitive, enabling
students and teachers to easily run simulations and conduct
experiments. Each unit is designed around specific learning goals aimed at helping
students achieve science literacy.
The strands of learning goals include properties of matter, kinetic molecular theory, chemical reactions, systems and equilibrium, scientific modeling, mathematical models, and experimental design. In the activities within each unit, students interact with NetLogo models to discover important concepts in chemistry, explore the details of particle behavior and system dynamics, while also allowing them to design and investigate explorations that extend their understanding of the nature of scientific models and inquiry. The activities designed around the models, support the students’ manipulation and observation of chemical “entities” at the molecular level as well as the resulting aggregate patterns.
Unit One – Gas Laws: The first unit in the Connected Chemistry curriculum is on the topic of gases: Gas laws, and Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT). Kinetic Molecular Theory describes the behavior of individual particles (e.g., particles move in straight lines, they elastically collide with each other and with the walls). Gas laws describe the relationships among properties of the system of particles as a whole, when it is in equilibrium (e.g., Boyle’s Law).
Unit Two – Chemical Reactions: The second unit in the Connected Chemistry curriculum is on the topic of chemical reactions: energy, rates of reactions, equilibrium, and La Chatlier’s principle. La Chatlier’s principle describes how a chemical system at equilibrium responds to changes in concentration, temperature, and gas pressure. The resulting shifts in equilibrium that occur when such changes happen can be understood to be the direct result of particle behavior within the system.
Big Ideas: In addition to the traditional chemistry content, both units in our curriculum also targets several important general chemistry-related ideas: ·