Friday, October 06, 2006

Mole Madness

This week we introduced the "mole", which is a unit of measurement in chemistry. A mole represents a very large number - 6.02 x 10^23 particles to be exact - so chemists use moles to compare quanities rather than writing huge numbers in scientific notation. To help the students understand how big a mole really is, I found an activity online that has 10 questions for them to research and solve. For example, one mole of pop cans stacked on top of one another would reach from here to the sun and back how many times? Students worked individually or with one other partner to solve their problem. I had items in the room for them to measure and also had the internet for resources. It was a great problem solving activity and (hopefully) helped them visualize how big a "mole" really is. I a dork or what?!?