Chemistry Blog

Stoked About Stoich

August 2, 2018

If there's one thing virtually all chemistry teachers can agree on, it's that stoichiometry is a difficult topic for students. Hands-on inquiry using household chemicals and a Wireless Pressure Sensor is a great way for students to gain a real understanding of the concepts of balancing equations, limiting reactants and more. Read More

Going Wireless: Shifting Augustana's First-years Labs

July 10, 2018

The Augustana Campus chemistry labs have traditionally been perfectly acceptable, but have yielded somewhat standard chemistry experiments with very typical analysis. Recently, things have changed. We have fundamentally changed our first-year chemistry lab experiments, which mean that different analyzation techniques are needed ... Read More

Water Purification

May 30, 2018

Water is a precious resource, but not all water is potable and ready for consumption. Since water is a “the universal solvent,” it can dissolve many substances. Luckily, the physical and chemical properties of water and the solutes allow for purification if the water has been polluted ... Read More

Poinsettia pH paper

December 11, 2017

The winter season is almost upon us. That means thoughts of holidays, hot chocolate, and Poinsettias. In chemistry class, you can use Poinsettias to introduce the concept of pH. Whether you are studying acids and bases, or simply looking at chemical ... Read More

Physical And Chemical Changes

December 5, 2017

You want an argument, bring some evidence!

What do students look for when they are trying to distinguish a physical change from a chemical change?Sure, things like a change in temperature, color, or the formation of bubbles are typical ... Read More

Mole Day

October 2, 2017

It’s that time of year again. Chemistry teachers everywhere are dusting of their pun-ny jokes and creating mole-themed, activities and treats to celebrate National Mole Day in commemoration of Avogadro’s number (6.02 x 1023). ... Read More

Back to school? Recharge and Update your wireless sensors!

July 17, 2017

Don't miss out on free software and firmware updates.

PASCO Wireless Sensors often gain additional value over time with new functionality and increased performance. These benefits are ... Read More

What is pH? Test the Rainbow

March 2, 2017

Students often struggle understanding pH. While we can tell them that it is a logarithmic function, students are more likely to associate “logs” with a calculator button or a piece of wood. So how do we get them to understand what the pH ... Read More

Concentrate on the Conductivity

December 9, 2016

Students have a hard time concentrating when the topic is solution concentration. The solution may be having them create their own ... Read More

Popsicle Phase Change

July 27, 2016

Phase changes are an important part of chemistry and physical science curriculum — and Freeze Pops are an important part of everyone’s summer. What better way to take the edge off the summer heat than combining the two to make a ... Read More

An Amped up Electricity Lab

May 30, 2016

Looking for a fun way to to spark your students interest in electrochemistry while they continue to build their engineering skills? Let them engineer a battery to light up an LED! With some simple materials, they can wind their way through a ... Read More

Titrations are pHun

April 15, 2016

Properties of acids, bases and the pH scale are core concepts in any chemistry class. After your students understand the basics, it is important for them to be able to quantify reactions involving acids and bases with a ... Read More

Chemistry in a Cuppa

January 22, 2016

Every January educators from across the UK gather for the Bett conference to learn about innovative ways to use technology in education. This year this lucky chemist had the opportunity to travel across the pond to London to participate and ... Read More

Under Pressure - Wireless sensor inside a balloon!

January 12, 2016

When introducing pressure and gas laws, I have always used balloons as a conceptual starting point because they are a familiar item to students. Unfortunately, I could not easily measure the actual pressure inside of the balloon— until now. ... Read More

Light(saber) Emission Spectroscopy

December 15, 2015

Lightsabers are not only the weapons of choice of Jedi Knights and those that have fallen to the dark side of the Force, they can also be great tools to introduce emission spectroscopy and atomic theory to the Padawans in your chemistry ... Read More

Inflate their knowledge of Gas Laws

November 30, 2015

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons an annual US holiday tradition, but not all spectators realize that they are also a great example of science and engineering at work. You can use these multi-storied helium-filled cartoon characters as a ... Read More

Trick or titrate!

October 16, 2015

Your students may have outgrown getting dressed up to go trick-or-treating, but they haven’t yet outgrown the desire to collect and consume as much candy as possible. So what can you do to help them avoid a belly ache and put that candy to ... Read More

Heat Up Your Lab with This Cool Activity

August 31, 2015

It’s back-to-school time, so start off the year by engaging in a cool(ing) activity during the final dog days of ... Read More

Measuring Our Way Through the Streets of Philadelphia

July 6, 2015

What better way to spend the days leading up to the U.S. Independence Day than to do some data-logging throughout the city where our government was born? As host of the 2015 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, ... Read More

Tie Dye Inquiry: Engineering More Vibrant Colors

May 20, 2015

Congratulations— you and your students have almost made it through another school year! There’s still time for some hands-on labs and now, more than ever, is the time to tie in some fun with your ... Read More

Mile High Experimenting

March 31, 2015

This spring’s ACS meeting was miles above the rest— or at least one mile above most others since it was hosted in Denver, CO. While we were in the Mile High City, we decided to do a mile high experiment— but in our case, we were ... Read More

St. Patrick's Day - Green River Spectrometry

March 17, 2015

Talk about luck of the Irish! NSTA 2015 in Chicago happened to coincide with the city's St. Patrick's Day festivities and the greening of the Chicago ... Read More

“Like Dissolves Like,” But How Much?

February 3, 2015

After introducing the concept of “like dissolves like,” sensors can be used to quantify how much solute is dissolved in a ... Read More

Forces of Attraction

February 3, 2015

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and attractive forces are on everyone’s mind. In science, a general rule is “opposites attract.” In solution chemistry, there is another saying, “like dissolves ... Read More

Don't Be Afraid of the Glow in the Dark!

October 19, 2014

Fall is in full swing and Halloween is approaching. It’s the time of year for glowing ghosts, ghouls, and… science ... Read More

Introduce Atomic Theory with Light!

September 15, 2014

How do you make the development of the Atomic Theory more accessible to students? Start by looking at lights using PASCO's Wireless Spectrometer! To begin the activity, have the ... Read More

Wireless Spectrometry: Colored Solutions

May 7, 2014

The new PASCO Wireless Spectrometer paired with our intuitive Spectrometry software now make analyzing colored solutions easier than ... Read More

Titrations ... not just pH anymore!

March 11, 2014

Acids and bases are a key component of any chemistry curriculum and titrations are the most common experimental technique for analyzing these types of solutions.Many titrations involve the use of indicators, like phenolphthalein, methyl red, or ... Read More

Concentration and Colorimetry

January 16, 2014

Are your students struggling with the concept of concentration? Are they having trouble taking MV1 = M2V2 beyond rote memorization to actual application? Try experimenting with colored solutions! ... Read More

Rainbow in a U-Tube - Electrolysis

November 15, 2013

Are you introducing your students to electrochemistry and electrolysis? Make it a colorful lesson by creating a rainbow in a U-tube! Incorporate the Voltage/Current ... Read More

Glow Stick Kinetics

October 10, 2013

Want to illuminate the concepts of kinetics? Try Glow Sticks! Glow sticks are a very popular accessory around Halloween because they are cheap, portable and they give off a ghostly glow. But do ... Read More

Vapor Pressure and Humidity

September 16, 2013

Equilibrium and vapor pressure can be difficult concepts for students to visualize and grasp. Luckily, most students will be familiar with humidity. By using humidity, you can introduce equilibrium and vapor pressure in terms that are familiar and ... Read More

Introduction to Chemistry - Antacid and Vinegar

August 27, 2013

Introduce your students to core chemistry concepts as well as data collection and analysis with a quick demonstration using common household chemicals. This classic demonstration of a chemical reaction is quantified and enhanced with pH, temperature ... Read More

Back-to-School Probe Prep

August 19, 2013

Most PASCO sensors and interfaces don't require any maintenance, but for continued accurate measurements, we recommend a little tune-up for some sensors at the beginning of the school year. Here are 10 tips to make sure your equipment is in optimal ... Read More