Stoichiometry is a challenging unit in the chemistry classroom. One of the easiest, most successful ways to simplify this concept is to relate a balanced equation to a kitchen recipe. Unfamiliar reactants from the equation become ingredients and the products of the reaction are transformed into the desired entrée or dessert. Coefficients take on new meaning when they become quantities of ingredients finished products.
In this unit, students will compare the creation of a grilled cheese sandwich to a chemical reaction. Ingredients and amounts will be discussed, and a balanced equation will be developed, By using a fun, simple model, the students are also able to observe the effects on grilled cheese sandwich production when one of the ingredients “runs out”.
This unit provides an easily understandable reference point throughout the stoichiometry unit. In addition to the model patterns, calculation examples are also provided, as well as classroom discussion topics.