DYC CHE 114L - The Chemistry of Baking Soda (6 pages)

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The Chemistry of Baking Soda



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The Chemistry of Baking Soda

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Pages:
6
School:
D’Youville College
Course:
Che 114l - Applied Chemistry Hlth Sci Lab
Applied Chemistry Hlth Sci Lab Documents
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CHE 114L Lab 1 The Chemistry of Baking Soda Preface In the future the lab instructions you receive will begin with the description of the scientific problem that will be investigated in the forthcoming lab sessions but in this first lab we want to discuss the overall structure of your laboratory experience in CHE 114 This lab experience may be different from what you have encountered in the past and it may differ from your expectations The structure and content of the labs as well as their underlying teaching methodologies have been chosen to advance the hands on student centered philosophy of the labs and the course that they accompany The core of this teaching philosophy is this that you will learn best when you are the architects of your own educational experience It often happens that the experience of students in a college science course goes something like this 1 Students are presented in class with scientific predictions of how the material world will behave and the theory behind these predictions 2 Students forget what you learn in 1 3 Students are presented in lab with a detailed cook book about how to verify what they have forgotten in 1 4 Students go through the motions and complete the cookbook but are unable to relate their lab experience to the classroom material which they largely have forgotten 5 Students forget what they did in 4 Later on students are confronted with problems in their courses and on the job which would be assisted by an understanding of science but they don t remember it because they never understood what was going on In some cases they find out with considerable difficulty what they need to know because human beings are very good at ferreting out information when their goals are clear and when they can appreciate the importance of finding out that information In many cases however people in this situation respond with despair and consequently disparage the importance of science because they haven t obtained at some point in their education an idea about how to approach a problem scientifically much less the basic information about science that they need to support this approach The purpose of this laboratory and the course that goes with it is to short circuit the connection between what is learned in the classroom and your subsequent experiences This will be accomplished by presenting you with a scientific problem and asking you to investigate it and to report on your investigations The idea is that you the student will acquire the necessary scientific knowledge on an as needed basis The knowledge so acquired will mean more to you and you will understand and retain it more effectively because you needed it to accomplish your goal You will not be cut adrift in this enterprise you will get plenty of help But the overall planning of your work will be up to you You will often need to obtain information you need from books or from the internet You are apt to need to perform experiments to test out your ideas Sometimes you will spend considerable effort pursuing a false line of inquiry That is part of the game and is all right provided that you are always learning The particulars of the structure of the lab has been fashioned to encourage this kind of inquiry Rather than being confined to a single three hour lab session each laboratory unit will stretch over two weeks or more organized roughly as follows A Session 1 Introduction to the ideas of the lab and to the lab apparatus associated with the experiments B Sessions II and III Performing the experiments C Session IV Presentation of results and discussion In most labs you are given a brief introduction you run the experiment and you go home and write out a report or fill out a form and hand it in next lab In this course you will spend an entire lab period familiarizing yourself with the theory and the experiment and being trained to use the equipment You will be able to plan what you will do with your lab group and come prepared to the next 2 sessions with a plan of action Finally you will present and discuss your results with your fellow students and on the basis of your discussion you will write up your lab report In addition to the structure of the lab you will notice some distinctive features in the way in which the material is presented to you and the expectations of that your instructors have of you In general the lab handout will consist of a single central question and numerous ancillary questions intended to direct you towards the exploration of usually several interrelated natural phenomena and their scientific explanations To the extent possible the hand out will not pre prejudice you in a certain direction It will not tell you This is what you are supposed to see and here are the reasons you see it but rather ask you What did you see and why do you think it happened that way You will be expected to come prepared to the labs This means a great deal more than simply reading the lab handout It means that you will have a fairly detailed plan of what you are going to do For example if you want to measure the pressure of a gas you will be expected to have some idea of how you will do it and what equipment you will need to do it You will be encouraged with supervision to go beyond the strict definition of the experimental problem and to explore serendipitous lines of thought that diverge from the central problem posed by the lab question When you ask questions you may not get the kind of answer you expect The answer may direct you to an internet site or a book or the answer might come in the form of a question or may form the prelude of an extended discussion Of course all of this leaves out the most important factor you If you do not buy into the objectives of the course you will encounter a good deal of frustration and anguish But if you take a serious and thoughtful approach to the task at hand you will leave the course with an understanding of chemistry that you had not thought was possible More important you will have experienced firsthand the scientific process of inquiry which makes possible the technological and medical advances which we have come to take for granted Introduction Since this is the first laboratory there will be a large number of new techniques and instruments that you will have to familiarize yourselves with Accordingly this lab will run for 5 sessions The first will consist of an introduction to the experiment and a review of the instrumentation The next 3 will be


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