Posted by: ginnynorman | May 25, 2010

Update for the exam tomorrow…


It *might* 😉 be a good idea for you to revise how to label acid/base pairs (Bronsted Acids = hydrogen DONORS, bases = hydrogen ACCEPTORS).

It would also be good if you knew what the titration equation is (MaVa = MbVb).

Oh and how to use Avogadro’s number (1 mole = 6.02 x 10^23 atoms/molecules/particles)

And also please check out how to do orbital diagrams (the ones with the arrows in the boxes) and how to write the electron configuration etc. How many electrons fit into each orbital (hint hint).

Oh, and for all of you who took the survey, thanks 🙂 you gave me some fab, thought provoking feedback. If you haven’t taken it, please do so: I value your opinion!

Posted by: ginnynorman | May 23, 2010

Balancing Nuclear Rxns

Here is a worksheet with full solutions that will help you revise and practice balancing equations, enjoy!

Posted by: ginnynorman | May 23, 2010

IUPAC Naming Rules

I have found a website that will help you if you feel the need to practice the IUPAC nomenclature rules. Please note: we are following the textbook (Glencoe; Chemistry: Matter and Change) which states that a double bond between the first and second carbons will always be labelled ‘2’.  For example:

This molecule would be named 2-heptene. I understand some of your frustrations with this system and I will be looking to review the rules for this principle next year.

Posted by: ginnynorman | May 22, 2010

Review Sheet Answers

I have answered the review sheet for you to check your answers. Please let me know if you have any problems. I will be available both Monday and Tuesday afternoon for you to get any help that you feel you need. I have also included in green on the review sheet some teaching/review notes which may be helpful.

review sheet answers

Posted by: ginnynorman | May 21, 2010

Course Evaluation!

Hello my ducks,

I sent you an email with the course evaluation survey in it. I would really appreciate it if you could fill it out for me! It helps me plan  the course for next year and know what needs to be changed. If you need to access it again, you can find it here.

Thanks and God bless you all!

Posted by: ginnynorman | May 11, 2010

Unit 10 – Newspaper Article (Nuclear Chemistry)


Nuclear chemistry is the most powerful and misunderstood topic in chemistry. The mention of the word nuclear conjures up feelings of fear and nuclear explosions. But are the bomb, nuclear power and radiation poisoning the only things nuclear chemistry has to offer?

Task – You will work in pairs

You are science reporters for the Chiang Mai International School Newspaper.  It is your job to describe what nuclear chemistry is, including nuclear weapons, and the effects of radiation given off by these weapons on the planet and its people.  Also include any POSITIVE effects radiation may have. Your newsletter will be distributed to the entire school during an emergency meeting, it must explain all the aspects of nuclear chemistry. Include your opinion about whether or not all nuclear weapons should be destroyed.

You will have to create a Newsletter on the topic of Nuclear Chemistry.

1. Scientifically define and describe nuclear chemistry

2. Gather evidence for nuclear chemistry’s subtopics (links below)

3. Describe fully each subtopic

4. Include and explain the effects of Nuclear Chemistry

Your newsletter must be at least 2 pages of writing, paying attention to the format and your writer’s voice. You are supposed to be a scientist so write like one! (NO CONTRACTIONS).


A) Nuclear Chemistry

Questions for thought:

1.What are radioactive elements?
2. Which elements are radioactive?
3. What is radioactive decay?
4. Write the nuclear equation for the decay of uranium-238.
5. Differentiate among alpha, beta, and gamma emission. Give at least three features of each.
6. What occurs in a nuclear bombardment reaction?
7. What is a half-life?

B) Carbon Dating

8. How is carbon dating done?

C) Uses of radiation in medicine.

D) Chernobyl – Then and Now

9. What accident occured at Chernobyl?
10. Why have the scientists chosen to study mice?
11. What are the scientists looking for in the mice they are studying?

E) What is fusion?

12. What is fusion?
13. What is the easiest fusion reaction to make?
14. Could a fusion power plant be safe?  Why or why not?

F) What is fission?

15. What is the definition of nuclear fission?

16. How is “critical mass” related to fission?
17. What is the difference between fusion and fission?

G) Nuclear Power

18. How does a nuclear powerplant work? (follow the links after playing with the simulator)

You can find information about nuclear power here too!

Due Monday 17th May 2010

You will be given the rubric to attach to the back.

Each pair must submit one news article.

Posted by: ginnynorman | May 10, 2010

Unit 10 – Nucler Chemistry

Hello my budding chemists!

What a fascinating lesson today, thank you all for your input and positive feedback!
I am including the PowerPoint we looked at today for the people who missed the class due to AP physics. I hope your exams went well. Best of luck to Coco for AP chem tomorrow!!

Radioactive Decay

Posted by: ginnynorman | April 27, 2010

Biochemistry: Proteins as polymers

Here is the Powerpoint form today’s lesson if you would like to use it for review!

Posted by: ginnynorman | April 20, 2010

Unit 9 Polymers: Webquest and Report


PVC is short for poly(vinyl chloride). This polymer is made by polymerizing the monomer vinyl chloride. PVC is a very strong and very rigid plastic, and it is a really useful one, too. People use it to make pipes, the kind used for plumbing in most new houses. PVC is also used to make the “vinyl” siding on the outside of houses. PVC is flame-resistant because it contains chlorine. Compounds that contain chlorine often are. Because of this, PVC is useful for making fixtures for the interiors of airplanes, where a fire could be especially dangerous.

PVC also can be made into a soft and flexible plastic by mixing it with small-molecule compounds called plasticizers. The “new car” smell that motorists love so much comes in part from plasticizers evaporating from PVC in the seats and dashboards. Plasticized PVC can be used for a lot of things. It’s waterproof, so it can make things like tarps and raincoats. It’s also good for making clear flexible tubing.

But there is a problem: Those plasticizers that make PVC soft and flexible can be toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing). The PVC itself isn’t toxic or carcinogenic, but the plasticizers can cause health problems. As if that weren’t enough, the monomer used to make PVC, vinyl chloride, is carcinogenic and can be harmful to people who work in the factories where PVC is made.

Your Task

Coming up with a solution won’t be easy. Using PVC has risks, and some people would like to ban it. This may seem like a good idea, but alternatives to PVC are not always easy to find. In this activity, you and a partner will set out on a quest to find solutions to the PVC dilemma.

The Process

As a team of two, one of you will research PVC and what its uses and benefits are. The other team member will research the risks of using PVC. Each of you will prepare a 1-2 page report of your findings. This should take you the first lesson, Wednesday.

Once you have written your reports on PVC risks, you are to prepare another written report together (the second lesson, Thursday), this time on your ideas for possible solutions. Please try to avoid simplistic solutions such as “stop using PVC.” That only works if you have a good replacement for PVC in every possible use. Rather, your written report should answer the following questions:

  1. What materials might be used in place of PVC for certain applications?
  2. For what uses should people keep using PVC?
  3. What is copolymerization and how could it be used to make PVC soft without using toxic plasticizers?
  4. How can we protect workers who make PVC from the harmful effects of vinyl chloride?

Please collate all three reports and include a cover page and cite your sources in MLA format. Both team  members will receive the same mark for the report so please make sure you work together and share the tasks fairly.


For uses and benefits of PVC:

Vinyl: One material, infinite uses

PVC Toys Info Centre


For The Risks of PVC:

Europe To Ban PVC Toys: BBC news item

The Perils of Plastic: Time magazine

Vinyl Chloride: A case study

Additional Information on PVC, plastics and polymers:

A World of Polymer FUN!

Safer PVC

Public Health Notification



Posted by: ginnynorman | March 28, 2010

Unit 8: Organic Homework 2

Here is the homework that I forgot to give you on Friday. It will be due for both classes on Thursday, the last day of school before the Easter break and I will hand sheets out on Monday.

On a different note, I know the experiment on Friday was difficult, it seems to me that most of you got results you could use though. It was not overly important that you had high levels of accuracy, what you should have seen was that the margarine used much more bromine water than the butter. If you got that, then your results are OK and you should be able to write up a good conclusion.

See you Monday!

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