Advanced Chemistry Through Inquiry Teacher Guide


Teacher manual for AP* and Advanced Chemistry labs. Has both the printed version and a flash drive with teacher tips, a PDF of teacher version and editable Word student version.

Measuring the Speed of a Reaction (Colorimeter)

Lab Summary

You have seen instructions on bottles of medicine instructing you, for example, to take “two capsules every four hours.” How do scientists come up with how often to take a medication? The answer is that they have done experiments that quantify how quickly the medicine is metabolized by the body. In other words, they develop equations that predict how long it will be before the concentration drops too low to have an effect on your symptoms. Such problems require scientists to make quantitative predictions, that is, to find an equation for the reaction.

How do you determine the speed of a reaction?


Students determine the order of a reaction and the effect of variables on the reaction rate.


The student is able to analyze concentration versus time data to determine the rate law for a zeroth-, first-, or second-order reaction.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

Advanced Chemistry Sensor


Measure pressure, temperature, pH, and conductivity with the Advanced Chemistry Sensor.

PASPORT Colorimeter Sensor


Our PASPORT Colorimeter records all 4 wavelengths simultaneously--no need to guess at wavelength to get a quality measurement.

The Associated Bundle:

Chemistry Standard Sensor Bundle


Contains the sensors and probes needed to perform all 17 experiments in the Advanced Chemistry Teacher Guide and all 25 labs in the Chemistry through Inquiry Guide.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.