Alternative Energy Unit

We’ve been working our way through a new spiraled unit in chemistry, dubbed “Alternative Energy”.  The unit takes students through big concepts of stoichiometry, thermodynamics, kinetics and molecular geometry.  Our unit challenge requires student teams to suggest innovations to cut carbon emissions as part of an engineering team working for a startup automobile manufacturer.  I’ve been trying to take relevant video of interesting bits of the coursework to share, so here they are, with corresponding activity sheets (feel free to use and modify as you’d like).

Unit Instructional Plan

Activity 3: Creating Balance (Micromole Rockets)

This lab is always so much fun, and is a great gateway into discussing stoichiometry.

Here’s some footage from the testing phase of the experiment:

Later on, I demonstrated a larger scale example of the reaction occurring within the rockets:

 Activity 4: Field Ration Heaters
To begin discussing kinetics and the laws of thermodynamics, as well as stoichiometry, we look at the chemistry utilized by deployed soldiers when they heat their MREs.
Our unit challenge is scheduled for a week from Friday.  Here’s an overview of the project and expectations.

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