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Virtual Chemical Laboratory
Boian Michailov
Boian Michailov
Downloadable software
Experiential learning
Fundamental Chemistry
Lower Secondary School
Chemistry is an experimental science and skills related to monitoring, planning and implementation of chemical experiments is very important. Chemistry will be more understandable and digestible to the students if they have the opportunity to conduct laboratory practice sessions on their computers at school or at home. The use of virtual laboratory enables training of large classes; it helps to avoid risks associated with passive pupils or with loss of control by the teacher.

The user is able to put glassware on the desktop, mix two chemicals and monitor the reaction, if such occurs. The ongoing reaction is presented via an animated model and a flush chemical equation. It is a means by which users can test their knowledge. Periodic System of chemical elements is offered in standard and expanded form. Clicking on any of the chemical symbols displays details of the selected element. The program offers a variety of reference information on chemical elements, a table of solubility - provides information on whether a chemical compound precipitates. The glossary contains brief descriptions of the most frequently used terms, and this gives additional knowledge.
The virtual chemical experiment is always successful. This allows the teacher to be free and able to draw the attention of students to the nature of the experiment. They observe the effect and if necessary redo the experiment
Students have the opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in an unconventional and entertaining way. Students are more certain about the results and more easily remember the outcome of the reaction.

Applicability in teaching process:
The proposed site is consistent with the Chemistry curriculum for seventh grade, where the basics of this subject are taught and a good mastery of the material is a
prerequisite for successful performance in the coming years of
training. This is the age when it is most important to create interest in the chemical science and using the site contributes to that. Besides due to their universal character, separate components would be of great use to older students / solubility table, periodic system /
The program can be of assistance to teachers in their laboratory classes or it could be used by students independently at home. Parts of the program can be used in the assessment of the students’ achievements.
The site allows teachers to simultaneously monitor virtual experiments and test students’ knowledge. In favor of teachers who would like to use it for assessment of students a handy chemical editor is presented. The chemical editor allows to make up and flush chemical equations.
The program guides the user by providing specific information concerning the necessary actions to be taken in carrying out various activities in the "laboratory”.
Potential difficulty in clearing the work area might be considered as a disadvantage.

Pedagogical value:
By using the program, students acquire basic knowledge about working in a chemical laboratory without the risk of potential accidents (burning with acids and bases, poisoning with toxic substances etc). Interest in Chemistry is developed as it diversifies the lesson.
Technical University Gabrovo

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2013.02.04

Posted by Petar Rachev (Bulgaria)

Message: Description

The product contains a great number of Physics and Chemistry facts related to the substance structure at subatomic, atomic and molecular level. It emphasises the relation between matter structure and the nature of the chemical changes leading to chemical reactions. The content is divided into two complementing versions. The second version is more detailed and includes the main points (chapters) from the first version. The linear approach of the two versions is convenient for achieving a particular level of knowledge in a complete cycle. The relation between the first and the second version allows for a concentric approach in the knowledge acquisition process by transferring information from one version to the other. The program offers a variety of animations, tests, assessment papers and presentations that can be used by both teachers and students in teaching and studying the subject.
This program can be applied directly to a large part of the Chemistry course:

9. Substance structure – classes 7, 8,10
10. Chemical bonds – classes 8, 9,10
11. Stechiometrics – classes 7, 8, 9, 10
12. Substance solubility – classes 7 and 10
13. Acids, bases and salts
14. Water states
15. Crystal grids
16. Organic chemistry – class 9

In fact, this is an electronic Chemistry course book. One of its advantages is the audio version, which facilitates and encourages knowledge acquisition by means of its short comments and makes the information comprehensible.
I do not think this product has any serious disadvantages. Perhaps it is too bulky as a result of the author\'s desire to cover a large area of Chemistry. Therefore, it probably shocks a bit the students who wish to use it. This is my personal opinion and I am in no way reproachful towards the author. I realise how much effort has been put into the creation of this product and I admire the person who has done it. The product has a high scientific value and it is also invaluable in terms of pedagogy.

Date: 2012.12.03

Posted by Petr Klusoň (Czech Republic)

Message: This paper appears to be rather relevant on the given matters. It seems that, even being already slightly old, as old as created in the year 2005, this tool provides nice and effective way for teachers to involve students in the subject. As the students can conduct the experiments each itself and on their own in seems to provide large source of motivation towards studying chemistry. It obviously has a potential to strengthen motivation of students for chemistry. By conducting the experiments the students see the outcomes of their actions, naturally remember more from the given topic as they had to think about the steps in the process, what to do, what they did wrong and what was the result.
The paper does not seem to be explaining the traditional obstacles in addressing chemistry but it seems that the traditional obstacles of students when approaching chemistry as subject might be likely more easily overcome with this teaching tool.
Neither does this paper report on successful experiences in teaching chemistry nor does it mention the problematic of difficulties of chemistry teachers to keep update to the continuous progresses of the research. As already mentioned this teaching resource is not exactly the newest one as it is from 2005 and therefore it does not solve the problematic of exploiting the most recent findings in the field of chemistry.
This teaching tool and resource is described well and clearly. Another point is, whether or not, there are new and more effective commercially available tools for same or even extended purposes.
It might be expected that this teaching tool will increase the interest of students toward chemistry, helping them first of all to understand better and faster the specific parts of the subject.

The didactic approach comprises the direct participation of the students when solving virtual lessons and tasks.

Date: 2012.10.04

Posted by DANIEL PETKOV (Bulgaria)

Message: This program allows direct presentation of a large part of the Chemistry course program:
1. Acids, bases and salts in classes 7,8 and 10
2. Ion exchange reactions in classes 8 and 10
3. Oxydation reduction processes in classes 8 and 10
4. Doing chemical equations
5. Students working on their own in class
6. Self-study assignment
7.Writing scientific memos, preparing presentations on various topics by using additional information from the Internet
8. Opportunities for testing and self-assessment by means of interesting tests

The program offers varied reference information – Mendellev's table, solubility, oxidisation reduction activity.
The contents have been selected very carefully. The students are introduced to a wide range of basic terms and notions along with the basics of Chemistry. The availability of the periodic table provides easy and convenient access to all chemical elements. It also offers information on the biochemical significance of each chemical element. The main aim of this product is to encourage students to acquire chemical knowledge directly related to everyday life by means of varied and scientifically correct information.
The extensive information offered by this product makes it suitable for students from the 7-th to the 10-th class.
I personally would use it for the following topics:
• class 7 – chemical exercises
• class 7 – group VII А, Cl2, HCl
– group І А Na, Na2O, NaOH
• class 8
– acids (H2SO4)
– bases (Ca(OH)2)
– salts (CaCO3)
• class 10
– ion-exchange processes
– oxydisation reduction processes

Product advantages

The main advantage is the varied information about the basics of Chemistry, including notions, terms and knowledge in General Chemistry. The range of information allows the teacher to work in any direction – teaching new lessons, practical training, review lessons, home assignments, writing reports, essays, presentations and testing students' knowledge.
I hardly ever use flatteries but author Boyan Mihailov fully deserves my admiration. The easy style, the subtle sense of humour, the gradual transition from scientific Chemistry to daily life, the historical references that pop up unexpectedly and contribute to the product's fascination – that is his unique contribution to the project concept.
Perhaps an animation of the chemical processes at the level of molecules and ions could be added. It would be a good idea to accompany the latter by chemical terminology on a single slide.
I would also recommend removing some less familiar measuring units from the convertor – students know nothing about them and have never heard of them. Therefore, the information load on the learners is too great.
From a scientific point of view, this product is perfect – the best one in the field of Chemistry. It also has a high pedagogical value – the broad spectrum of basic chemical facts provides various opportunities in terms of didactics and methodology.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.