Making Sense of the Gas Laws – Come Learn a Direct Route to Mastery


Leaders: Donghong Sun (Dept. of Chemistry, Columbia University) and Rachel Ward (Staten Island Academy)

Do your students mix-up and struggle with the Gas Laws? Come learn a fantastic approach known as ModelingTM to see how starting with graphical methods for solving Gas Law problems build a better mathematical understanding, and support students who typically struggle conceptually with the typical formulaic plug-and-chug problems. In this workshop, you will participate in experiments that you can utilize in your own classroom to guide students to reach a deeper understanding of the proportional relationships that govern gas behavior. Students will then be able to apply these proportional reasoning skills in other areas of study and in real life. You’ll be amazed how this engaging approach promotes student centered sense-making and confidence.

We will collect and analyze data in three experiments to develop the relationship between gas pressure and three variables – volume, number of particles and temperature. We will develop an understanding of the particle behavior of gases by interpreting the experimental results graphically and by constructing particle models that mirror the graphical trends observed. We will then emphasize the power of those proportional relationships by showing how students can apply this understanding to solve gas problems and to check answers gotten from using those handy equations to see if their answer makes sense.

You’ll also receive Vernier’s data analysis software Logger Pro for FREE! After you register we will send you an email message with the information needed to download Logger Pro. Please install Logger Pro before you come to the workshop and if possible bring a laptop so you can use the software during the workshop.

Note: Please sign up for EITHER the “Making Sense of the Gas Laws: A Direct Route To Mastery” workshop OR the “DIY Science Experiments with Simple Materials, Sensors, Scratch, and Make!Sense” workshop, but NOT BOTH. These two workshops are both 3 hours and run simultaneously from 10am to 1pm in separate rooms at Teachers College.