Can not knowing how to do dimensional analysis create a life-threatening situation?
Hook your students into wanting to learn dimensional analysis by starting this lesson with the video of the true story of Air Canada Flight 143's emergency in the air!
UPDATE: Use this link to begin the YouTube Air Canada Flight 143. This one is not marked Private.
This engaging "hook" gave my students the "need to know" that helped carry them through the tough part of learning how to set up their equations properly.
I believe that this skill is so important that I have included other types of dimensional analysis problems other than chemistry problems. There are 2 $$ dimensional analysis (D.A.) problems, 1 veterinary D.A. problem and 2 chemistry D.A. problems. Once students learn how to cancel out units they should be able to transfer this knowledge to any topic, chemistry, medicine, physics, $$$, etc..
This PowerPoint-All-In-One lesson is ready to go and there is "no" teacher prep for this lesson because the opener, the calculations, problem-solving, student contest, and answer key are all on the PowerPoint.
Students learn the following:
1) why it is important to learn dimensional analysis
2) step by step how to set up their equations properly
3) how to cancel units no matter what the "topic" of the problem
There are "no" copies to make as students are required to take notes on their own. (getting them ready for college!) UPDATE: I've added a fill-in note template to this lesson so there are copies to make now IF you would like to provide this structure for your students. This was very helpful for my students and increased their understanding of the key points.
Please let me know how this lesson works for you! Most of my students do not have a solid, math foundation so I spend 3 class periods on this. This could be shortened if you show less of the video or if your students have a good, solid math base.