P273: Investigating the effect of simplifying lab work on students’ discussions of chemistry lab work

Author: Kristin Mayer, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: MAN 123

Related Symposium: S8

The Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (Achieve, 2013) focus on engaging students in scientific practices and content. Laboratory work is one way to engage students in scientific practices. However, several studies have shown that students generally learn little from participating in labs. Students often focus on procedural aspects of lab work such as completing the steps and do not connect lab work with science content. This case study was conduct to determine if students participate in the lab was effected by simplifying the procedures of the lab work. Students in a high school chemistry class were randomly assigned to experimental or controlled groups. The controlled group completed the standard form of a lab the teacher used. In this lab, students completed about half a dozen double replacement reactions. The experimental group completed one single replacement reaction with careful observations of the reactants and products. Two groups completing each form of lab were recorded and their discussion was analyzed to evaluate how much time students spent discussing procedural aspects of the lab, concepts related to the lab, or off-task topics. The discussions were also evaluated to determine the depth of the content related discussions.

P130: High school students’ use and development of atomic models that are based on understanding electrostatic interactions

Author: Kristin Mayer, Michigan State University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 11:50 AM12:10 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

Research has shown that students generally have simple, incomplete models of atoms. Students’ models of atoms often do not include electrostatic interactions and students struggle to use atomic structure to explain or make predictions about how atoms or molecules interact with each other (Griffiths &Preston, 1992; Stevens, Delgado, &Krajcik, 2010). In this design-based research project, curriculum materials are being developed with the aim of supporting students’ development of atomic models that are based on electrostatic interactions. An iterative process was used to develop, test, and revise the curriculum materials. In the curriculum students first study macro-scale phenomena related to electrostatic interactions. Next, students develop their own model of atomic structure in order to describe their observations. At the end of the unit, randomly selected students were interviewed about their development of atomic models. This paper discusses the results of those interviews and the nature of the atomic models students developed. In general, students were able to use their atomic models to explain a range of phenomena. However, students struggled to support their models based on the evidence they were given related to atomic structure.