Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.
Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.
Energy and Matter
Flows, cycles, and conservation. Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations.
Stability and Change
For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.
Science & Engineering Practices
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Once collected, data must be presented in a form that can reveal any patterns and relationships and that allows results to be communicated to others. Because raw data as such have little meaning, a major practice of scientists is to organize and interpret data through tabulating, graphing, or statistical analysis. Such analysis can bring out the meaning of data—and their relevance—so that they may be used as evidence.
Engineers, too, make decisions based on evidence that a given design will work; they rarely rely on trial and error. Engineers often analyze a design by creating a model or prototype and collecting extensive data on how it performs, including under extreme conditions. Analysis of this kind of data not only informs design decisions and enables the prediction or assessment of performance but also helps define or clarify problems, determine economic feasibility, evaluate alternatives, and investigate failures. (NRC Framework, 2012, p. 61-62)
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Students at any grade level should be able to ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or scientific investigations. For engineering, they should ask questions to define the problem to be solved and to elicit ideas that lead to the constraints and specifications for its solution. (NRC Framework 2012, p. 56)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
The goal of science is the construction of theories that provide explanatory accounts of the world. A theory becomes accepted when it has multiple lines of empirical evidence and greater explanatory power of phenomena than previous theories.”(NRC Framework, 2012, p. 52)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Students should have opportunities to plan and carry out several different kinds of investigations during their K-12 years. At all levels, they should engage in investigations that range from those structured by the teacher—in order to expose an issue or question that they would be unlikely to explore on their own (e.g., measuring specific properties of materials)— to those that emerge from students’ own questions. (NRC Framework, 2012, p. 61)
activity series - a list of metals or non-metals in order of decreased reactivity.
chemical change - any change that results in the formation of a new chemical substance.
coefficient - a number in front of a chemical substance that represents the quantity needed for a reaction.
combustion reaction - a type of chemical reaction that occurs when carbon and hydrogen compounds react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water.
decomposition reaction - when one reactant breaks apart into two or more products.
double displacement reaction - a type of chemical reaction that occurs when the like ions of two ionic substances displace each other to form new substances; also known as a double replacement reaction.
law of conservation of matter - matter cannot be created or destroyed, it just changes from one form to another.
matter - anything that has mass and takes up space.
physical change - a change which alters a substance without altering its composition.
precipitate - a solid substance formed in a solution during a chemical reaction.
product - a substance formed as the result of a chemical reaction.
reactant - a substance that takes part in and undergoes change during a chemical reaction.
single displacement reaction - a type of chemical reaction that occurs by the transfer of electrons, so that a neutral substance displaces a like-charged ion in a compound so that it becomes neutral; also known as a single replacement reaction.
solubility table - a table which displays the ability of a substance to dissolve or dissociate in water or an acid.
synthesis reaction - a reaction that combines two or more reactants to form one product.
Georgia Standards of Excellence
SC2Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the chemical and physical properties of matter resulting from the ability of atoms to form bonds.
SC2.fDevelop and use bonding models to predict chemical formulas including ionic (binary and ternary), acidic, and inorganic covalent compounds.
SC3Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how the Law of Conservation of Matter is used to determine chemical composition in compounds and chemical reactions.
SC3.aUse mathematics and computational thinking to balance chemical reactions (i.e. synthesis, decomposition, single replacement, double replacement, and combustion) and construct an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
SC3.bPlan and carry out investigations to determine that a new chemical has formed by identifying indicators of a chemical reaction (specifically precipitate formation, gas evolution, color change, water production, and changes in energy to the system should be investigated).
Request Teacher Toolkit
The Chemistry Matters teacher toolkit provides instructions and answer keys for labs, experiments, and assignments for all 12 units of study. GPB offers the teacher toolkit at no cost to Georgia educators. Complete and submit this form to request the teacher toolkit. You only need to submit this form one time to get materials for all 12 units of study.