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Product 12585

By: Jeff Fieberg, Centre College, Danville, KY

Use the Visualizing the Transition State Demonstration Model to study properties of transition states or activated complexes with this device. Toss the ball and watch as it inverts and changes color. Use this novel demo to engage students.

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Product Details

Kinetics concepts are by nature abstract. How do you explain to students that the transition state lies at the “top of a potential energy barrier” and is “inherently unstable?” Demonstrate the properties of the transition state or activated complex with this unique, colorful demonstration device—a plastic ball that suddenly switches inside and out when tossed into the air with just the right amount of spin. Simply toss the ball into the air and watch as it inverts and changes color. The magical, color-flipping toy models a chemical reaction in which a reactant must pass through an unstable transition-state configuration before it is converted to a product. To prove the point, pull the “switch-pitch” ball apart until it is fully extended, and place it on a table. The ball will immediately collapse back to either its “reactant” or “product” state. Use this novel teaching aid to make learning both meaningful and fun! Color may vary.

Concepts: Chemical kinetics, transition state theory, activated complex.
Time Required: 10 minutes.
Materials Provided: “Switch-Pitch” transition state model.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Crosscutting Concepts

Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

HS-PS1-4. Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.