KABOOM, white!

Chemistry. There are several different parts of chemistry. Last year, we learned about ionic and covalent bonding. This year, we expanded on that, and looked at how that type of bonding stuff happens. *Cue trumpet music* Chemical Reactions!

In this project, we learned all about the different types of chemical reactions: Combustion, Synthesis, Decomposition, Acid-Base Neutralization, Single Replacement and Double Replacement. In this project, we were spilt into 6 different groups, one for each type of reaction, and studied our chosen reaction. My group was studying double replacement reactions. A double replacement reaction is a reaction where the two positively charged ions in an ionic compound switch places, creating two new ionic compounds! 

To focus are learning even more than the specific chemical reaction, we also had to come up with a driving question. The driving question for our project was…

How Do Double Replacement Reactions Help Doctors With Diagnostics?

We chose this question because we had seen something in the textbook that supported this idea. 

Barium Chloride is a very toxic chemical. But it is aqueous, which means it can be dissolved in water. When this solution, diluted in water, is mixed with Sodium Sulfate, also aqueous and diluted in water, a double replacement reaction occurs. This creates Sodium Chloride, an aqueous compound, and Barium Sulfate, a solid.

This mixture is used by doctors for x-rays. As you probably know, x-rays shine through soft tissue, showing doctors the bone. But when you need a soft tissue x-ray, it’s a bit different. Doctors have their patients drink this concoction just before their x-ray. The barium sulfate blocks x-rays, so you can now do soft-tissue x-rays. 

We presented our findings to the Chemistry 11 class. And honestly, our presentation didn’t go wonderfully. If I were to do this again, I probably would’ve had each task a more group focus, rather than one person do the script, one person do the video, and one person the keynote.

For this project, we were also focusing on curricular competencies. One curricular competency I think this project really demonstrated was  to “Connect scientific explorations to careers in science”. Our group did this by connecting our reaction to the field of medicine. This reaction is used by doctors, and was a huge advancement for x-rays. 

Another curricular competency I used a lot in this project was to “Communicate scientific ideas, claims, information, and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations”. I feel as though, even though our keynote may have not been accurate, our language and experiment demonstrated our knowledge of the project.

I also used the curricular competency of “Collaboratively and individually planing, selecting, and useing appropriate investigation methods, including field work and lab experiments,  to collect reliable data (qualitative and quantitative)”. I used this, because a) this was a group project and b) we did an experiment to prove our calculations correct.

Finally, I used the curricular competency of “Useing knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence”. We had an equation, and our hypothesis, but we weren’t sure what was going to happen. As we did the experiment, and studied the equations, we understood how this was a double replacement reation.

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