Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Reactions in Chemistry
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Sub Image2:Macro to Micro Structures
1) Atoms and Molecules2) Macro to Micro Structures 3) Energetics and Dynamics
4) Theory and Practice in Chemical Systems5) Chemical Design6) The Chemistry of Life7) Chemistry and the Environment8) Chemistry at the Interface

Unit 3.2 When Particles Collide
The interactions between colliding particles in chemical reactions, such as those found in fireworks, are emphasized in this unit using cars, marbles and marbles.
Video program cues: 5:35 — 10:50

The chemistry of fireworks

"Fireworks, on a chemical level, are a combination of oxidizers and fuels. The oxidizers form a free form of oxygen when energized or when heated, and the fuel creating the burn rate of reaction in a pyrotachnic chemical reaction. Examples of oxidizers that we may use are potassium nitrate, which is used as black powder; potassium perchlorate is another oxidizer which is used, because it is very energetic and it is utilized in the noise-making devices that you see. Some examples of fuels, like sulfur that we use in black powder. We use also some metals: some metals give us the twinkles, they serve also as fuels with different types and sizes; they can also be utilized as fuels. We can look at a fuel, such as aluminum or titanium, and you look at the particular size; our ability to get to this particular micron size gives us the ability to control the burn of this material. Chemistry is extremely important for us, to be able to continually refine that, and gives us the ability to create new and exciting effects."

Dr. Phil Grucci
Grucci Fireworks, Inc.

Colliding particles demonstration

Irene Walsh presents analogies to collisions between particles, and to reaction mechanisms.


Novak, I., (1998)' Probability of Collisions, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, pp: 852.

Marzzacco, C.J. (1998)' An Analogy to Help Students Understand Reaction Orders, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, No. 4, pp: 482.

Wong, Gareth; Mark, Bernard; Chen, Xijia; Furch, Toran; Singmaster, Karen A.; Wagenknecht, Paul S. (2001)' Preparation and Use of a Room-Temperature Catalytic Converter, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 78, No. 12 pp: 1667.

Proceed to Unit 3.3 arrow

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