Solving Crimes with Chemistry

Solving Crimes with ChemistryThe Case of the Missing Balance

by Chandra Goetsch, Rachel Zuercher, Ruth Herradora, and Burnne Yew

Many specialty fields use a variety of scientific techniques to answer questions and/or solve problems. For example, forensic scientists collect different pieces of evidence from a crime scene. This module encourages students to choose which methods are appropriate to test the evidence. After conducting the appropriate chemical tests, the students conclude which suspect committed the crime.

Students learn: 1) How chemical testing is used to identify unknown substances, 2) How to collect data from a series of experiments, and 3) How to record and interpret data and make conclusions based on gathered evidence.

Docs: fulltext.docx   presentation.pptx   teacherguide.docx   studentguide.docx   worksheet.docx   chemref.docx   bios.docx   report.docx
Keywords: argument, cause, chemical tests, communication, crime, data, evidence, explanations, forensic science, investigations, patterns, HS-PS1.A

Colors in Chemistry

colors in chemistryUsing Paper Chromatography to Understand Polarity

by Chandra Goetsch, Rachel Zuercher, Ruth Herradora, and Burnne Yew

It’s difficult for students to understand some chemistry concepts, such as polarity, without being able to see a molecule. This module visually shows students the difference between polar and nonpolar substances. It helps students understand separation chemistry and gives them a background to understanding other chromatography techniques.

Students learn: 1) How chromatography helps scientists test the components of different mixtures, 2) How solubility of polar and nonpolar substances differ depending on the solvent, and 3) How to collect data during an experiment.

A SCWIBLES video to accompany our hands-on inquiry-based module on paper chromatography developed by Fellows Rachel Zuercher and Chandra Goetsch.


Docs: fulltext.docx   presentation.pptx   worksheet.docx
Keywords: chromatography, data, explanations, investigations, patterns, polarity, HS-PS1.A


A Fact of Matter

a fact of matterExploring Trends Across the Periodic Table

by Vikram Baliga, Burnne Yew, Ruth Herradora and Bill Callahan

The periodic table is designed to reflect the key properties of all of the elements. This module gives an overview of the trends we see within each group of the periodic table. This module addresses NGSS Performance Expectation HS-PS1-1 by having students analyze trends in the periodic table in relation to atomic radius and first ionization energy.

Students learn: The relative sizes of elements in the periodic table; The definitions of atomic radius and first ionization energy; and How trends in atomic structure relate to trends in first ionization energy and atomic radius.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   lecture.pdf   handout.pdf
Keywords: atomic radius, atomic stucture, math, models, patterns, periodic table, HS-PS1.A, questions, scale, systems

Oil Pollution Solutions

oil pollution sollution

Oil Pollution in the Marine Environment

by Kristin deNesnera and Satina Ciandro

In this “hands-on” module, students learn about: sources of oil pollution in the marine environment; the effects of oil pollution on marine life, human health, and economies; examples of major oil spills; and the challenges involved in responding to and cleaning up an oil spill.

Students learn: 1) How human activities cause oil pollution, 2) How oil pollution affects marine resources, the environment, 3) About various oil spill clean-up technologies and sorbent materials absorptivity, and 4) About the challenges related to oil spill clean-up.

A video to accompany an inquiry based educational activity (module) used in the SCWIBLES program. Created by Kristin de Nesnera.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   lecture.pdf   activity.docx   costchart.docx
Keywords: clean up, data, engineering, HS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.C, HS-ETS1.C, HS-ETS2.B, explanations, investigations, marine, math, models, oil pollution, HS-PS1.A, questions, scale, stability, structure, systems

Rocks Rock!

Rocks rockRock cycle and igneous rock formation

by Tara Cornelisse

In this 1-day module, students use Houghton-Mifflin’s interactive online textbook, Exploring Earth, to learn about the rock cycle, the different types of rocks and how rocks are formed. They then look specifically at igneous rocks and learn how crystals develop and vary with temperature of cooling. Based on observations of cooling crystals, students develop a hypothesis, in groups, and carry out experiments to test their hypotheses. Students then compare real samples of different igneous rocks, using their results to interpret how the rock samples were cooled, answering questions about intrusive and extrusive rock formation processes.

Docs: Fulltext.pdf   RockLab.pdf   IgneousLab.pdf   IgneousKey.pdf
Keywords: data, HS-ESS3.A, explanations, geology, igneous, investigations, patterns, HS-PS1.A, questions, rock cycle, rock formation, rocks, structure

Filtering out Pollution

filtering out pollutionLowering Turbidity to Increase Water Quality

by Tara Cornelisse and Ruben Mejia

In this lab activity, students learn what turbidity is and how to measure it using a turbidity sensor connected to a data logger. Students then use an array of readily available materials to investigate how to build a water filter that efficiently reduces turbidity.

Docs: fulltext.pdf
Keywords: build, data, HS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.C, HS-ETS1.C, HS-ETS2.B, explanations, investigations, HS-PS1.A, questions, turbidity, water, water filter, water quality