Session S63a (Wednesday, 9:30am, Wartik 107)

P689: Why don’t fish die in the winter? Using 3D magnetic models to visualize particulate level arrangements of water

Jeremy Cusick (Kenowa Hills High School, USA)

A robust understanding of the particulate level allows students to understand the chemistry they are doing rather than rely on algorithmic problem solving.  This activity uses magnetic water models to help students see and feel the effect of hydrogen bonds on the way water interacts at the particulate level.  Students can feel the attraction between the water molecules and see the differences in spacing and density for the different states of matter.  By incorporating other magnetic ions and nonmagnetic covalent compounds students can also observe the effects of temperature on solubility of different types of compounds.  With proper facilitation students can then apply their knowledge to different properties of water and their effects on lakes and fish.  This presentation will include facilitation tips to assist implementation, sample student responses, and teacher reflections on the activity.

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