Draft Design Document

Content – Unit 1: Safety and Measurement

This unit introduces students to the safety protocols and resources in the chemistry classroom. The remainder of the unit focuses on the topic of measurement and units (laboratory equipment, metrics, conversions, significant figures, scientific notation, and density).

Target audience: Students in a public high school chemistry course. The level of concurrent mathematics knowledge varies, and the population typically includes between 25% and 40% students with Individualized Education Plans.

Time allotted: Approximately 2 weeks

Learning goals: Students will understand the safe use of appropriate laboratory equipment and emergency procedures. Students will be able to correctly measure, record, and calculate a variety of properties of matter, perform dimensional analysis, and understand the concept of density.

Standards addressed: The safety and measurement content addressed in this unit are covered by the overall standards of science practice in the Massachusetts Science and Technology Engineering Curriculum Frameworks for High School. These practices are listed below:

By the end of high school, students should have an understanding of and ability to apply each science and engineering practice to understand the world around them. Students should have had many opportunities to immerse themselves in the practices and to explore why they are central to the applications of science and engineering. Some examples of these science and engineering practices include:
1. Define a design problem that involves the development of a process or system with
interacting components and criteria and constraints that may include social, technical, and/or environmental considerations.
2. Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems.
3. Plan and conduct an investigation, including deciding on the types, amount, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements, and consider limitations on the precision of the data.
4. Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including determining function fits to data, slope, intercept, and correlation coefficient for linear fits) to scientific questions and engineering problems, using digital tools when feasible.
5. Use simple limit cases to test mathematical expressions, computer programs, algorithms, or simulations of a process or system to see if a model “makes sense” by comparing the outcomes with what is known about the real world.
6. Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims and assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.
7. Respectfully provide and/or receive critiques on scientific arguments by probing reasoning and evidence and challenging ideas and conclusions, and determining what additional information is required to solve contradictions.

8. Evaluate the validity and reliability of and/or synthesize multiple claims, methods, and/or designs that appear in scientific and technical texts or media, verifying the data when possible.


Day 1: 

Lab Safety – Protocols explained and demonstrated

Products: Signed lab safety contract

Assessment: Microlearning activities to correctly identify lab safety equipment and Insight activity to respond correctly to emergency situations.

Day 2: 

Laboratory Equipment identification – Students introduced to relevant laboratory equipment.

Assessments: microlearning activities to correctly identify lab apparatus and match lab equipment to appropriate use.

Day 3:

Rules for measurement and significant figures -Students will be introduced to the proper recording of measurements and rules for significant figures.

Assessment: microlearning activities for identifying correctly-recorded measurement and insight activity to respond to different scenarios involving measurement.

Day 4:

Dimensional analysis: Use of conversion factors to translate between equal values with different units

Assessment: microlearning insight activity with both everyday and science scenarios involving dimensional analysis

Day 5:

Metric system and scientific notation: Introduction to metric prefixes and use of scientific notation.

Assessment: microlearning matching activities to identify equivalent values in different metric units or scientific versus standard notation.

Day 6:

Density – Introduction to density definition and calculations

Assessments: microlearning activities for calculating and algebraic manipulations using the density formula. Insight activity involving the use of density to indirectly determine the thickness of aluminum foil.

Summative assessment:

Insight activity including all relevant content from this unit, including safety protocols, measurement, and calculations.

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