Assign this Chemical Compounds Research Project to bring chemistry to life by making your students aware of the chemical compounds in the ingredient lists of household products that they use and eat every day! After you teach the naming scheme for binary and polyatomic ionic compounds (sodium chloride, magnesium hydroxide, potassium sulfate, etc.), and for molecular (covalently bonded) compounds (silicon dioxide, carbon tetrachloride), assign this mini-research project to get them searching for chemical compounds that they recognize.
This product includes both the print and the Google Drive versions, as well as an editable version.
Students will find 5 chemical compounds in the ingredient lists of 5 everyday products (processed foods like mac & cheese, canned soups, cereals; toiletries/cosmetics like shampoo, creams, toothpaste; cleaning products like shower spray, toilet cleaner, dish soap). Then, they will do research on the chemicals and create a table containing specific information about the properties, uses, and risks/benefits to humans and the environment.
A sample table using sodium chloride (NaCl) is provided in the project directions. After creating the table, there are two reflection questions that the students answer to summarize what they learned. My hope is that by researching the risks and benefits to human health, my students will consider what chemicals are in the products that they eat and use on their bodies.
In order to keep everyone honest, I have students either cut/peel the ingredient label from the products, or take a picture of them to attach to their table or to share with me in their Google doc.
The grading rubric is included. You could also structure this as a partner project, and/or have students present what they learned to the class by showing their Google Slides document!
You may also be interested in these resources:
Counting Atoms in Chemical Formulas Magic Pixel Picture Review
Ionic Compound Cubes Practice Activity
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