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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 7 Issue 4 (2002) pp 207-210

The Making of a Solution: A Simple but Poorly Understood Concept in General Chemistry

Frank M. Dunnivant,*, Deberah M. Simon, and Steve Willson

Chemistry Department, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362, dunnivfm@whitman.edu, and Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM 87545
Received March 27, 2002. Accepted May 22, 2002

Published online: 26 July 2002

Abstract. A primary goal in many general chemistry laboratories is to teach students to properly perform dilutions and make solutions. This article presents a simple exercise to test if your students have acquired this ability from their introductory laboratory exercises. Our results indicate that approximately 50% of the students cannot perform this task on their first attempt, but with guidance and additional attempts their success rate improves. Approximately 30% of the students still fail at this task after additional attempts, but this exercise does improve the laboratory technique of all students. Students used a variety of dilution strategies to achieve the same final concentration; but the most common strategy used by the students was the one deemed most logical by the professors.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry;

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: dunnivfm@whitman.edu)

Article in PDF format (228KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Solutions, Weights and Lab Technique, Solutions Data Sheet, and Instructor Notes (PDF 90 KB)10.1007/s00897020581b

Issue date: August 2, 2002

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