Lifelong Learning Programme

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Teaching Resources

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Molecule of water
The ICT resource used in class is created on a paperboard (.flipchart) with the program ActivInspire.
It is actually a video found on YouTube (I don’t have the link to) and images. The idea is to zoom in on a glass of water with a magnifying glass.
Topics related to the resource
With this resource, it is possible to address molecular models and formulas. On another level, the states of matter and molecular agitation can be seen. In this case however, it is necessary to think and weigh up the pros and the cons, for the video presents models of the molecule of water (one red and two white balls), which can disturb first year students when they discover the states of matter.
Examples of learning objectives
With this resource, it is possible to meet the objectives of the curriculum: “molecular formula” and “representing a molecule with a formula”.
Practical information regarding the use
of the site/simulation...
As previously explained, this resource was created from images and a video found on the Internet and inserted in a .flipchart file (ActivInspire). It can be easily recreated using ActivInspire.
Information about the class
The resource was tested in a third year class, Socio Educative Transition with 12 students at Institut Sainte-Thérèse D’Avila in Chênée (Liège). It was presented on an interactive whiteboard in a physics laboratory.
Suggestion for use
This resource was used during a sequence on the molecular formula and was exploited during the research phase. A problem situation was previously brought forth and students were asked to model a molecule keeping in mind what they had experienced (indeed the molecule of water was addressed several times during their school path and several representations had been evoked). Then, the resource comes up to provide the information “when zooming in on a glass of water, this is how the molecules of water behave in the liquid state”. Then the students have to model a molecule of water again making links with what they have just seen. They can compare the model they had first imagined with the second one. They can learn to name what they have just seen. It is followed by an interpretation of what can be done with this model (What do the balls mean? What do the sticks used in class mean? What do the colours of the balls mean?).
This resource is all the more interesting that it makes a transition from the macroscopic to the microscopic level.
Insights into student
use / thinking
6 students out of 8 fully agree that the resource is motivating. The main reasons evoked are that it is fun and that it helps better visualise. 5 students fully agree that this resource is more helpful than another support. 4 students out of 8 think that the resource really led to interactions with classmates. 5 students out of 8 think the discussions with the teacher and classmates helped understand the notion; students expressed an opinion completed by others. 4 students out of 8 fully agree that the resource help understand the real world. However, only 2 out of 8 feel able to better explain this notion.
Teacher’s conclusions
The resource was used in a relevant way, for, even though according to my internship supervisor the students had already had already learnt how to model a molecule of water, none of them had been able to do it properly before seeing the video. This resource is rich on two levels:
It makes a clear transition between the macroscopic and microscopic levels, which students tend to mix up. Moreover, it shows more specifically the dynamics in matter and liquid water.
The ICT resource is easy to use and fits perfectly in an IWB presentation (designed to this end). Students are receptive to it. Using it with a physical model (models manipulated by students) is another plus.

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.