Easel by TpT

An Aquatic Apocalypse – "Solutions Chemistry" Unit (PBL) w/ Distance Learning

Grade Levels
10th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Zip
97 pages
Share this resource

Also included in

  1. This BUNDLE consists of a year's worth of Chemistry Problem-Based Learning Units. They are also sold separately on TPT.All of the units have two sets of files. The "Classroom" files should be used in an in-person classroom setting. The "Absent" files can be used for long-term distance learning, home
    Save $8.45


An Aquatic Apocalypse: A Problem-based "Solutions Chemistry" Unit (PBL) for High School Chemistry


Millions of fish are dead along a stretch of the White River that passes through Indiana. So what happened? This problem-based unit asks students to complete a series of experiments to determine the possible cause of the fish kill.

See the Preview for a list of materials and other background information as well as the first day activities.

Both the classroom version and the distance learning version follow the outline below. In the distance learning option, the case is presented using readings, virtual simulations, and videos.

This product is also part of a BUNDLE found here.

Previous knowledge: Students should have already learned stoichiometry.


This problem-based unit was designed to teach the required objectives for solution chemistry in the state of Texas. It would likely work with or without modification in many other venues.

(A) describe the unique role of water in chemical;

(B) develop and use general rules regarding solubility through investigations with aqueous solutions;

(C) calculate the concentration of solutions in units of molarity;

(D) use molarity to calculate the dilutions of solutions;

(E) distinguish between types of solutions such as electrolytes and nonelectrolytes and unsaturated, saturated, and supersaturated solutions;

(F) investigate factors that influence solubilities and rates of dissolution such as temperature, agitation, and surface area;

(G) define acids and bases and distinguish between Arrhenius and Bronsted-Lowry definitions and predict products in acid base reactions that form water;

(H) understand and differentiate among acid-base reactions and precipitation reactions;

(I) define pH and use the hydrogen or hydroxide ion concentrations to calculate the pH of a solution; and

(J) distinguish between degrees of dissociation for strong and weak acids and bases.

NGSS: HS-PS1-2, HS-PS1-5, HS-PS1-7, HS-ESS2-5

Day 1:

-Introduction: Story background information

-River Water and Solution Vocabulary: Students make observations of the river water while practicing vocabulary.

-Pollutants: Students practice solution vocabulary while learning about possible pollutants.

Day 2:

-Solubility Rules Part I : Students experiment to determine solubility rules.

Day 3:

-Solubility Rules Part II: Students use solubility rules to rule out the presence of three ions in river water.

-Practice with Solubility WS

Day 4:

-Concentration and Dilutions Part I: Students calculate the concentration of a possible metal ion pollutant in the river water.

-More Practice with Solubility Rules WS

Day 5:

-Concentration and Dilutions Part II: Students perform a serial dilution to model the concentration of the pollutant in the river.

-Practice with Molarity WS

Day 6:

- Solubility vs Temperature Part I: Students experiment to determine the relationship between solid solubility and temperature.

Day 7:

- Solubility vs Temperature Part II: Students look at solubility data to determine if nitrates and phosphates were the cause of the fish kill.

- Solubility Graphs WS

Day 8:

- Solubility of Gases: Students experiment to determine how temperature affects gas solubility to determine if thermal pollution caused the fish kill.

- More Solubility Graphs WS

Day 9:

- Acids and Bases Part I: Students experiment to learn about properties and definitions of acids and bases.

Day 10:

- Acids and Bases Part II: Students experiment to determine the difference between strong and weak acids and bases.

- Acids and Bases WS

Day 11:

- Acids and Bases Part III: Students use a micro-scale titration to determine the pH of the river water.

Day 12:

- Report (Included in Day 11 folder)

Copyright © E. Stubbe (The Wasp Whisperer)

All rights reserved by author.

Terms of Use: This document is for personal use only and may only be used by the original purchaser. This entire document, or any parts within, may not be reproduced or displayed for public viewing. You may NOT electronically post this product online including to teacher blogs, classroom websites or school networks. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Total Pages
97 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
Report this Resource to TpT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
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. Examples of chemical reactions could include the reaction of sodium and chlorine, of carbon and oxygen, or of carbon and hydrogen. Assessment is limited to chemical reactions involving main group elements and combustion reactions.
Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction. Emphasis is on using mathematical ideas to communicate the proportional relationships between masses of atoms in the reactants and the products, and the translation of these relationships to the macroscopic scale using the mole as the conversion from the atomic to the macroscopic scale. Emphasis is on assessing students’ use of mathematical thinking and not on memorization and rote application of problem-solving techniques. Assessment does not include complex chemical reactions.
Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs. Emphasis is on student reasoning that focuses on the number and energy of collisions between molecules. Assessment is limited to simple reactions in which there are only two reactants; evidence from temperature, concentration, and rate data; and qualitative relationships between rate and temperature.
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.


Questions & Answers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up