A selection of resources and activities to use remotely with your 16–18 classes

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We have compiled a selection of curriculum-relevant resources to use with your students, linking to topics taught all over the UK and ROI.

Organic chemistry

This interactive mechanism inspector is great for students to practise solving organic mechanism problems and build their confidence. There are also checkpoints with questions to assess pupil understanding and some extra downloadable resources. If needed, you could add notes to highlight the areas your pupils need to cover to suit your specification. This way, you can use it either as a tool for teaching or as a task for students to examine the ideas without the aid of a teacher. 

You could combine this with some of our Starter for ten activities on organic chemistry or organic synthesis (more on these below). Or with Molview, an open-source web-application for constructing and viewing organic compounds to help your students visualise the compounds they are working with.

Organic chemistry

This interactive mechanism inspector (rsc.li/3eKjqV5) is great for students to practise solving organic mechanism problems and build their confidence. There are also checkpoints with questions to assess pupil understanding and some extra downloadable resources. If needed, you could add notes to highlight the areas your pupils need to cover to suit your specification. This way, you can use it either as a tool for teaching or as a task for students to examine the ideas without the aid of a teacher. 

You could combine this with Molview (molview.org), an open-source web-application for constructing and viewing organic compounds to help your students visualise the compounds they are working with. Or with some of our Starter for ten activities on organic chemistry (rsc.li/3cyNNMg) and organic synthesis (rsc.li/2XRVvxb). (These belong to two sets of Starters that cover a wide range of other topics as well.)

Titrations

This is another interactive resource, this time for titrations. It is both a simulation and assessment tool for teachers and pupils. Students can cover the material and produce an e-lab book, which you, the teacher, have access to. You could then respond to their work outside of the simulation, for example via email or your school’s VLE. Again, you could give your pupils notes to highlight the areas they need to cover to suit your specification.

You can also get them to write their own problem set of titration equations to swap with someone else in the class. For any students struggling with the equations, use the resource accompanying the article Nine tips for scaffolding multi-step calculations (the last page sets out the steps involved in solving a titration problem) as a model example. The Powerpoint presentation will also help with your own CPD.

And to prove to them that real-life chemists do actually use titrations in the field, you can always point them to these real-life examples, or ask them to do their own research on titrations in industry.

Titrations

This is another interactive resource, this time for titrations (rsc.li/3eDgc5Q). It is both a simulation and assessment tool for teachers and pupils. Students can cover the material and produce an e-lab book, which you, the teacher, have access to. You could then respond to their work outside of the simulation, for example via email or your school’s VLE. Again, you could give your pupils notes to highlight the areas they need to cover to suit your specification.

You can also get them to write their own problem set of titration equations to swap with someone else in the class. For any students struggling with the equations, use the resource accompanying the article ‘Nine tips for scaffolding multi-step calculations’ (rsc.li/2XW4ZHu) (the last page sets out the steps involved in solving a titration problem) as a model example. The Powerpoint presentation will also help with your own CPD.

And to prove to them that real-life chemists do actually use titrations in the field, you can always point them to these real-life examples (rsc.li/3cGYqwT), or ask them to do their own research on titrations in industry.

Top of the Bench – materials and energy

Previous Top of the Bench papers can be found online along with the answers. Challenge students to complete them with or without their books and then swap with another student for marking. The latest papers were themed on materials and energy, each with a version for younger and older students, meaning you can set your pupils the one that suits their level best.

Materials:  Younger Older

Energy:   Younger Older

pH and ions

Use this advanced pH simulator to view, modify and visualise solutions with different ion ratios, exploring macroscopic, microscopic and custom views. Pupils will be able to visualise both the pH and the H3O+ ions, and it will also allow them to visualise what happens when materials are diluted.

You could combine it with this starter slide on measuring acidity using sound (students can test it out at home with a hot chocolate or coffee) or the story of phenolphthalein, which found its first use as a pH indicator.

Analytical chemistry

Use these videos and interactive quizzes on qualitative analysis to enhance your students’ understanding of various techniques and procedures used in practical chemistry. You can use this as a learning opportunity in itself, or as revision for practical work. (Note: you need a Teach Chemistry log in to access the online assessment site.)

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In addition, these videos on HPLC and gas chromatography and thin layer chromatography are great visual learning resources on which students can be quizzed, and can easily be combined with previous exam questions, for example, to check learning.

Analytical chemistry

Use these videos and interactive quizzes on qualitative analysis to enhance your students’ understanding of various techniques and procedures used in practical chemistry (rsc.li/3521mBt). You can use this as a learning opportunity in itself, or as revision for practical work. (Note: you need a Teach Chemistry log in to access the online assessment site.)

In addition, these videos on HPLC and gas chromatography (rsc.li/2Y7slub) and thin layer chromatography (rsc.li/2S017S9) are great visual learning resources on which students can be quizzed, and can easily be combined with previous exam questions, for example, to check learning.

Spectroscopy

Use these comprehensive resources from our Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme to explain how and why infrared spectroscopy works. Exercise 1 in the downloads involves a murder mystery investigation for students to work through.

There is a collection of videos, as well as interactive flash animations on NMR and IR spectroscopy that are a great introduction to the topic, outlining the basic methods, techniques and applications. Supply students with a set of questions relevant to your specification (either your own or from previous exams) alongside them to check their learning.

You could also use some of the resources from the article Know your poison: the festival chemical safety net. Have students read the article and complete a DART comprehension exercise, as well as the accompanying spectroscopy activity. To work on their practical planning skills, you could even ask them to plan their own mass loss test experiment and give each other feedback on their methods.

You can also inspire students with the story of Imran Khan, a real-life spectroscopy development scientist.

Spectroscopy

Use these comprehensive resources from our Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme to explain how and why infrared spectroscopy works (rsc.li/2RVmLHm). Exercise 1 in the downloads involves a murder mystery investigation for students to work through.

There is a collection of videos (rsc.li/2RZ49WJ), as well as interactive flash animations on NMR (rsc.li/2Y2rXgt)and IR (rsc.li/3bvJm4K) spectroscopy that are a great introduction to the topic, outlining the basic methods, techniques and applications. Supply students with a set of questions relevant to your specification (either your own or from previous exams) alongside them to check their learning.

You could also use some of the resources from the article ‘Know your poison: the festival chemical safety net’ (rsc.li/2VM5xNK). Have students read the article and complete a DART comprehension exercise, as well as the accompanying spectroscopy activity. To work on their practical planning skills, you could even ask them to plan their own mass loss test experiment and give each other feedback on their methods.

You can also inspire students with the story of Imran Khan, a real-life spectroscopy development scientist (rsc.li/2S1j9Ue).

Maths

You can always get students to brush up on their maths skills with the resources accompanying our maths in chemistry articles, or with these resources on time of flight calculations, including a quiz, exam style questions and a set of model answers. Use them alongside the Education in Chemistry article Take the fear out of time-of-flight calculations to boost your students’ confidence with this kind of maths problem. You can also combine it with this activity on using mass spectrometry to determine the structures of chemical weapon compounds. With all handouts coming in an editable format, you can adjust them to suit your specification, as well as the level of your students.

Maths

You can always get students to brush up on their maths skills with the resources accompanying our maths in chemistry articles (rsc.li/2VNIkuw), or with these resources on time of flight calculations, including a quiz, exam style questions and a set of model answers (rsc.li/2VRfmtt). Use them alongside the Education in Chemistry article ‘Take the fear out of time-of-flight calculations’ (rsc.li/3aqFII3) to boost your students’ confidence with this kind of maths problem. You can also combine it with this activity on using mass spectrometry to determine the structures of chemical weapon compounds (rsc.li/2VtuNJG). With all handouts coming in an editable format, you can adjust them to suit your specification, as well as the level of your students.

Other topics

These sets of Starter for ten activities cover a very wide range of topics including structure and bonding, equilibria, redox, transition metalsacids and basesquantitative chemistry – the list continues. There are two sets: a general one for advanced level courses and a second for the more advanced syllabus areas. Use them to help embed the skills required for the transition to advanced level courses. They are also editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ needs should you wish to.

Combine the questions on yield in the quantitative chemistry pack with the aspirin practical simulation. Designed as a pre-lab or for homework to enhance understanding and practical skills, it includes a video explanation of reaction conditions that affect yield as well as an additional practical worksheet detailing the methodology. It allows students to perform a virtual, interactive practical at home with supporting information and guidance of reaction conditions and how they affect yield.

Additionally, these gridlock puzzles also cover a wide range of topics and are good for recapping. They can be printed off as a worksheet for pupils to do by hand or can be completed online. The online version is good as pupils have to complete each stage perfectly before progressing to the next level, meaning proper understanding of the topic is required to complete each game.

Do you have other great resources or tips for teaching 16–18 chemistry remotely? Share them with your colleagues in the comments below.