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Color Change Challenge: Problem Solving Guided-Inquiry Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Using the Color Change Challenge and Problem-Solving Guided-Inquiry Kit, students discover a sequence of chemical changes that will result in a certain series of color changes, showing that using trial and error can lead to a solution.

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Experience the nature of scientific inquiry and scientific problem solving using this unique color change challenge lab! Students must discover a sequence of chemical changes—using four unknown colorless solutions—that will result in a series of specific color changes. As students design and then carry out their “action plan,” they learn that scientific problem solving is not a random process and that trial and error is really a series of logical steps leading toward a solution. A fun activity for developing critical thinking skills as well as to introduce chemical reactions! Includes all necessary chemicals, disposable pipets, labels and pipet holders.

Includes Teacher Notes and reproducible student handouts. Complete for 30 students working in pairs. Reusable spot plates are recommended and available separately.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Systems and system models

Performance Expectations

MS-PS2-1: Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object
MS-PS2-3: Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces
MS-PS2-5: Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact
MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
HS-PS2-1: Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
HS-PS2-4: Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.
HS-PS2-5: Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.