From JCE - A demonstration for challenging students' thinking on acid-base chemistry and equilibrium

Chemistry helps you to solve the mystery!

If you have access to the Journal of Chemical Education, I would implore you to read each month's issue. Even as a secondary classroom teacher, I like reading JCE because it snaps me out of the same 'ol - same 'ol mindset that I'm used to when teaching semester courses. Occasionally, I will find an article with pertinent information that may prove beneficial for a topic I am planning to teach. For example, this month I came across an article by Eilks, Gulacar, and Sandoval about Acid-Base Chemistry and Chemical Equilibrium. We just finished Chemical Equilibrium yesterday and will begin Acid-Base tomorrow. The title of the article is "Exploring the Mysterious Substances, X and Y: Challenging Students' Thinking on Acid-Base Chemistry and Chemical Equilibrium." The premise of the article is to demonstrate how an instructor may use a group of compounds (zeolites) to "elaborate on the behavior of solid state acids and bases" while revisiting LeChatelier's principle.

If you have a chance, read the article. I think that the demonstration would work out well for an Honors level Chemistry, AP or IB Chemistry, and/or undergraduate chemistry course.

Unfortunately, our school year is nearing the end and I am unable to purchase the necessary zeolites in time. However, I do wonder if I could achieve similar results using acidic and basic salts? We will cover Salt Hydrolysis next week in my Chemistry 2 classes. Conceptually, most students understand that salts (ionic compounds) can be either basic, acidic, or neutral but they struggle with predicting it from the parent acid and parent base. This task requires familiarity with ionic formulas, something most of my students have not done since their freshmen year.

Publication information
Pick Attribution: 

Ingo Eilks* Ozcan Gulacar , and Jose Sandoval

 Department of Biology and Chemistry, University of Bremen, Bremen 26359, Germany

 Department of Chemistry, University of California−Davis, Davis, California 95616 United States


J. Chem. Educ., 2018, 95 (4), pp 601–604

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00404

Publication Date: 
Friday, March 2, 2018