How Can I Make New Stuff From Old Stuff?
The unit builds understanding of core science ideas including the particle nature of matter, energy, and substances and their properties. In order to contextualize chemistry concepts in real-world experiences, the unit focuses on making new substances, specifically making soap from two unlikely substances: fat and sodium hydroxide. Students complete a number of investigations of soap and fat as they further their understanding of substances and properties, and explain what happens when substances interact (i.e., chemical reactions). In that process, they also explore the core idea of the conservation of mass and the crosscutting concept of systems. Each cycle of investigation begins with macroscopic phenomena and includes the use of molecular models to help explain the phenomena.