Sunday, August 21, 2005

Avogadro's Box

A while back, I had the most daunting task of teaching the kids the Mole concept in Chemistry.  I decided that they should spend some time making a box that was 24 dm3.  The sides are roughly 28.3 cm3.  “Hey”, I thought, “this will really make them understand that I mole of any gas at room temperature and pressure equals  24 dm3 and they can visualise it some more.” What an excellent idea huh?  I had planned for them to take 15 mins to do the box but in the end it took them a good half an hour.  Finally, this is really concrete operational, the concept should sink in.  Well I was in for quite a ride after that.  Kenah have 5 hours of remedial lessons with the kids to iron out the concepts and one student asked me, after the 3rd lesson on the mole: Cher.. What is one mole huh?”  I have threatened to cut a hole in the box to put it over any student’s head who can’t give me answers to molar volumes of gases questions.  Well so far its been okay.  Most have passed their test on the mole.

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