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In the General, Organic and Biological Chemistry (GOB) Lab Kit: Synthesis of Aspirin, investigate the structure, synthesis and properties of aspirin, one of the oldest yet most common drugs.

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General, Organic and Biological Chemistry Aspirin, first synthesized in 1897, is one of the oldest yet most common drugs in use today. Like many modern drugs, aspirin has its roots in an ancient folk remedy—the use of willow extracts to treat fever and pain. Aspirin is prepared the same way today as it was more than 100 years ago. In this lab, students investigate the structure, synthesis and properties of aspirin. Students prepare acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) and analyze its purity. Chemical reactions of the product are used to determine if any starting material remains or if the product decomposes. The identity of the product is also confirmed by melting point and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Complete for 24 students working in pairs. Perform this experiment in a fume hood or a well-ventilated lab.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Energy and matter
Scale, proportion, and quantity

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-1. Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
HS-PS1-1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-2. Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.