Balancing chemical equations

The title of the Project: Balancing chemical equations

This virtual laboratory is intended for use in chemistry classes on the following topics:

  • 8th grade. Chapter II. “Formulas of substances and equations of chemical reactions”

Objectives:

  • to understand the concept of a balanced chemical equation and the Law of Conservation of Mass.
  • to practice balancing chemical equations.

Practical part

This simulation is your one-stop shop for learning how to balance chemical equations.

  1. The simulation has two sections:
  • “Introduction”: This screen explains what a balanced equation is.
  • “Game”: This screen allows you to practice balancing equations.

Let’s begin by exploring the concept on the “Introduction” screen.

The Introduction Screen

  1. The bottom of this screen shows unbalanced equations. As you adjust the coefficients (numbers in front of the chemicals), the number of molecules is displayed in the boxes labeled “Reactants” and “Products” above.

3. When you create a balanced equation, a happy face emoji appears to indicate you were successful. This happens for each equation you can choose from the bottom of the screen.

4. This screen also has some cool visual aids, like charts and scales, to help you picture what “balanced” really means. 

5. Once you’ve played around, take a look at your balanced equations. See how many atoms of each element are on both sides – this will solidify the concept of balance for you.

6. You can also hide the molecules in the boxes by clicking a button at the top.

The Game Screen

7. Once you are ready to test your balancing skills, head over to the Game screen. Here, you get to practice on three levels, each getting trickier than the last.

8. You can add a time limit for a challenge and mute the sound effects if you prefer.

9. At each level, you will be given five random equations to balance. The levels get progressively harder, so it’s recommended to start at Level 1 and work your way up. In Level 1, each equation only requires three coefficients to be balanced. The higher levels get more complex, with equations having two products and two reactants.

10. You receive 2 points if you answer correctly on the first try.

11. If you made a mistake, you can get a hint by clicking “Show why” before trying again. 

12. A second correct attempt earns you a point.  

13. The simulation wants the simplest solution possible. So, if you use numbers with common factors (like 2 and 4, which both have a common factor of 2), you’ll be told your answer is correct, but you can simplify it further.

14. If you miss a second time, you won’t get points, but you can see the right answer to learn from your mistake.

15. You can always restart a level by going back to the level selection screen at the top.

16. Now, let’s finish this level and see your final score. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep challenging yourself and complete the other levels!

Conclusion

This interactive simulation provides students with a comprehensive introduction to balancing chemical equations. Through clear explanations, visual aids, and engaging practice exercises, students gain a solid understanding of the concept and can hone their balancing skills at their own pace.