Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Introduction to Acids and Bases - Section 2: Explore


According to the National Science Education Standards (NSES p. 23) scientific inquiry is "the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world." Taken from the NSTA website.

I really like the idea of using inquiry labs in my classroom but find it difficult to have the time to implement them.  As a compromise I enjoy doing labs that are semi-inquiry in that students have a chance to discover ideas on their own but in a very structured manner. 

In this lab my goal is to allow students to come up with the differences between acids and bases through performing labs at 7 different stations.  I have it set up where students use the materials/perform a test and at the end of each test should be able to come up with a generalization about acids vs. bases.

As you can see from the lab this is a very structured lab in terms of procedures and expected results, but I am allowing my students to figure out the differences on their own so it does have some parts of inquiry.  This student example shows how the student was able to come up with generalization of acids and bases through performing the lab.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Inquiry-Type Activity
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Introduction to Acids and Bases

Unit 7: Unit 8: Water Quality
Lesson 6 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to differentiate between acids and bases through performing an inquiry lab and taking notes.

Big Idea: Acids and Bases have characteristic properties such as pH, reactivity with metals, conductivity, color change with litmus paper, and color change with phenolphthalein.

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Science, Chemistry, Acids and Bases, solution, water
  75 minutes
station 5
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