An illustration showing a selection of hexagons; within them are various components of chemistry, such as a beaker, an atom, bonds, pH test strips, and so on.

Explore the Science of Matter: Introduction to Chemistry

Interested in the fundamentals of chemistry?

LabXchange invites learners of all ages to explore chemistry from multiple perspectives in Introduction to Chemistry. This cluster, or collection of interactive learning resources, includes over 190 interactive digital resources from Khan Academy, PhET Interactive Simulations, The Concord Consortium and others.In it, you’ll encounter 15 foundational concepts in chemistry, from the periodic table to intermolecular forces of attraction, through simulations, videos, and more. These 15 custom learning sequences called pathways are not complete courses. Instead, we designed them to spark curiosity and suggest topics to investigate further.

The Periodic Table

Personalized learning for everyone

LabXchange believes that everyone should have the freedom to create online learning experiences that meet distinctive needs. For this reason, each of the cluster’s pathways can be saved, shared, or remixed with educational content from over 100 other high-quality content sources or users’ own private libraries.This allows you to personalize online learning for a wide variety of teaching and learning contexts!

15 key concepts in chemistry

  1. Making Measurements: This pathway introduces the units scientists use when making measurements and how to judge and express the meaning and level of confidence in a measurement.
  2. Matter and Change: Chemistry is often defined as the science of matter and how it changes. This pathway introduces the composition of matter and the physical and chemical changes it can undergo.
  3. The Atom: This pathway introduces the building block of all matter, the atom, and some of the key experiments that helped scientists discover the subatomic particles that give atoms their unique properties.
  4. The Periodic Table: The periodic table of elements is one of the greatest achievements in chemistry, and understanding its arrangement helps us to understand many aspects of chemistry. This pathway provides resources to understand several of the trends on the periodic table, such as electronegativity and the number of bonds an atom can form.
  5. Chemical Bonding: Why do atoms react with some elements but not others, and why do they form compounds with such different properties? One of the reasons is the bonds that they form. This pathway provides resources relating to the reasons that atoms bond, and the three different types of bonds that form between atoms: covalent, ionic and metallic.
  6. Molecular Shapes: The spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule has a massive role in the properties of that substance. This pathway provides resources to explain why molecules take the shapes that they do, and how to determine what shape the molecule will take.
  7. Intermolecular Forces of Attraction: Why are some substances liquids, while others are solids? Why are some substances harder than others? Why is water essential for life on Earth? This pathway provides resources for answering these questions by looking at the types of intermolecular forces that exist between particles, and the effect that these forces have on the macroscopic properties of substances.
  8. Gases: Gases exist across a wide range of temperature and pressures, and their properties obey some fairly simple laws. This pathway provides resources to help students understand the behaviour of gases, and the relationships that exist between their pressure, volume and temperature.
  9. Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry: Chemical reactions are the foundation of chemistry, and understanding how elements combine and in what ratios helps us to understand the world around us. This pathway provides resources about how different chemicals react, and the ratios in which they react, a field of study known as Stoichiometry (literally: element measuring).
  10. Energy and Phase Changes: ​​Changes in energy are associated with both physical and chemical changes in chemistry. This pathway provides resources to explore how energy is related to phase changes, as well as chemical reactions.
  11. Solutions and Concentration: Water is essential for life as we know it, due in part to its ability to dissolve a wide range of substances. In fact, most chemical reactions occur in a dissolved state. This pathway provides resources regarding how water is able to act as a solvent.
  12. Rates of Reactions & Equilibrium: When a chemical reaction occurs in a closed system, it will reach an equilibrium state in which reactants and products are produced at the same rate. This pathway provides resources to understand the factors that affect chemical equilibrium.
  13. Acids and Bases: Acids and bases are substances that are able to give and receive hydrogen ions respectively. This seemingly insignificant ability gives rise to a wide range of reactions and is essential for many biological processes. This pathway provides resources related to acids and bases, the types of reactions they undergo, and the pH scale which is used to measure the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution.
  14. Electrochemistry: One of the driving mechanisms in certain chemical reactions is the exchange of electrons. In these reactions, one substance gains electrons while another substance loses them. This pathway provides resources relating to electrochemistry, reduction & oxidation, and different types of electrochemical cells.
  15. Organic Chemistry: Organic chemistry is the study of the molecules that are necessary for life to exist. The key ingredient for these molecules is carbon, which is able to form complex structures and allows for the variety of different molecules in living things. This pathway provides resources for understanding the basic rules that are used to categorize these different molecules.
Written by
LabXchange team

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