Balancing with Legos

A formative assessment designed by an ACCT cohort member designed to investigate student understanding of chemical mechanism.

2. What cues are used to differentiate matter types?

“What cues are used to differentiate matter types?” is a question of differentiation, or telling matter types apart. Differentiation in chemical thinking is based on the assumption that every chemical substance has at least one differentiating property that makes it unique. Good differentiating properties do not depend on the amount of substance under analysis and have unique values for different materials. Examples include boiling points, solubilities in water, and molecular structure. The characterization of these differentiating properties is critical for the design of methods to separate substances, identify them, detect them in our surroundings, or quantify their amounts.