Lesson 2 Activity 2 - Run experiments

In this lesson students will explore the role of reactants in a chemical reaction. Discussion will be closely tied to the example reaction modeled. Emphasis is placed on concept of limiting reactant and reactants in excess. Students will make some modifications to the model and run experiments to determine the consequences of varying the quantities of reactants.
  • Review Chemistry concepts
  • Watch the video that describes how to set up an experiment
  • Brainstorm a question then design your experiment and document it
  • Conduct your experiment and record your data
  • Analyze your results
  • Upload a screen shot and a link to your project in your portfolio.

Review of Chemistry concepts

Review the chemical reaction being modeled. Discuss when a chemical reaction stops. Discuss the conservation of mass and how the balancing of chemical equations preserves this law. Illustrate how 2 AgNO3 is broken apart in water, then how 2 NO3 bind with one Cu to produce the “product” Cu(NO3)2 . Introduce the concepts of the limiting reagent and reactants in excess. The key question to pose to students is, “When does the reaction stop?” Tell students that this will be the basis for our investigations today.

Watch a video that describes how to set up an experiment:

Brainstorm questions you could ask of this model then use the Experimental Design form to describe your experiment. 

A common experiment to run is to change the initial quantities of copper or silver nitrate. Experiment with different initial quantities of copper or silver nitrate and record the amount of silver produced. Remind students to include multiple trials at every different setting of the initial amounts used. • Students are to note when the copper is in excess and when the silver nitrate is in excess. Also, record how much silver was produced in each case.

Conduct your experiment using the Chemical Reaction model and record your results using the form. 

Analyze your results
and reflect on what you learned.

Quiz questions:

1 point
How many silver nitrate agents are needed to react with one copper agent?

1 point
Does the model allow you to add more copper?

Fill in and upload your experimental design form to your portfolio in the section "SL Nova Projects- Physical" under the heading "Experiments with the base model".

OPTIONAL Extensions: (if time allows)
  • Add or remove water molecules
    • Modify the code to add or remove some or all of the water molecules in the model. • Ask “does it affect the execution of the model and real-world representation?”
  • Move the copper rod to a different location
  • Modify the code to move the copper rod somewhere else in the solution, keeping the number of copper agents the same. This number can be tested when executing the program and checking the number of atoms of copper in a databox (interface).
    • To complete this challenge, you will need to figure out how to set up agents in specific (x,y) coordinates with specific headings.

Video showing how to implement the extensions: