February 2011 Teacher's Guide Table of Contents



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February 2011 Teacher's Guide
Table of Contents



About the Guide 3

Student Questions 4

Answers to Student Questions 6

ChemMatters Puzzle: Chemical Ken-Ken 11

Answers to the ChemMatters Puzzle 13

NSES Correlation 14

Anticipation Guides 15

Background Information (teacher information) 27

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 33

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 34

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 35

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 35

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 37

References (non-Web-based information sources) 38

Websites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 39

Is this Water Recycled Sewage? 43

Background Information (teacher information) 43

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 47

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 49

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 49

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 49

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 51

References (non-Web-based information sources) 51

Websites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 52


Drugs Down the Drain: The Drugs You Swallow, the Water You Drink 54

Background Information (teacher information) 54

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 60

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 61

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 62

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 62

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 63

References (non-Web-based information sources) 64

Websites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 64

Cleaning Up the Air 69

Background Information (teacher information) 69

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 74

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 75

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 75

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 76

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 77

References (non-Web-based information sources) 79

Websites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 80


Kilimanjaro: Peering through Disappearing Ice 83

Background Information (teacher information) 83

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 91

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 91

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 92

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 92

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 92

References (non-Web-based information sources) 93

Websites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 93

About the Guide

Teacher’s Guide editors William Bleam, Donald McKinney, Ronald Tempest, and Erica K. Jacobsen created the Teacher’s Guide article material.


Susan Cooper prepared the national science education content, anticipation guides, and reading guides.
David Olney created the puzzle.

E-mail: djolney@verizon.net


Patrice Pages, ChemMatters editor, coordinated production and prepared the Microsoft Word and PDF versions of the Teacher’s Guide. E-mail: chemmatters@acs.org

Articles from past issues of ChemMatters can be accessed from a CD that is available from the American Chemical Society for $30. The CD contains all ChemMatters issues from February 1983 to April 2008.

The ChemMatters CD includes an Index that covers all issues from February 1983 to April 2008.
The ChemMatters CD can be purchased by calling 1-800-227-5558.
Purchase information can be found online at www.acs.org/chemmatters

Student Questions


Recycling to Survive


    1. What do “rag pickers” do?

    2. Why do so many people in India recycle plastics?

    3. What are the three types of structures for plastics?

    4. What is the difference between thermoplastics and thermoset plastics?

    5. List two thermoplastics and two thermoset plastics.

    6. Name at least 5 uses for plastics in our everyday lives.

    7. What is the term for the source materials for almost all plastics?

    8. Name the two factors that drive the recycling industry worldwide.

    9. Name and describe the three recycling methods.

    10. What are the health hazards that Ramzan faces in his work?



Sewage: The Hottest New Resource?


    1. What are the different sources or constituents of wastewater (sewage) that leave a home?

    2. What are the four stages of wastewater treatment?

    3. What three properties of waste material in sewage allow for separation in the physical treatment stage?

    4. What are the three steps used by bacteria to convert nitrogen-containing compounds into free nitrogen gas (N2) that escapes into the atmosphere?

    5. What uses are made of non-potable wastewater that has undergone final treatment?
    6. How is non-potable wastewater used to generate electricity?


    7. What is reverse osmosis as used in the treatment of disinfected effluent?

    8. What is removed from disinfected effluent using reverse osmosis?

    9. What is meant by “recharging” through the use of sanitized (disinfected) effluent?

    10. What is one of the drawbacks in using chlorine as a disinfectant for wastewater treatment?



Drugs Down the Drain: The Drugs You Swallow, the Water You Drink


    1. How does the concentration of pharmaceuticals detected in U.S. drinking water compare to the therapeutic dose of any of the pharmaceuticals?

    2. What are some examples of how pharmaceuticals dissolved in freshwater have affected fish?

    3. What happens to the active ingredients in a drug when you take it?

    4. Describe the path wastewater takes when it leaves your home, to when drinking water enters your home again.

    5. What did stream testing in 1999 and 2000 in the U.S. reveal?

    6. What are some drawbacks to using chlorine to disinfect wastewater?

    7. What are some of the methods scientists are working on to remove pharmaceuticals from drinking water?

    8. What are some pros and cons of using ozone as a water disinfectant?

    9. Describe the guidelines for disposing of unused medications.



Cleaning Up the Air


    1. What is meant by the Carbon Cycle?

    2. Other than the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), what are two other “natural” or biological sources of carbon dioxide in the movement of the gas within the biosphere?

    3. What biological process removes carbon dioxide produced by respiration and decay?
    4. How is the respiration chemical equation related to the photosynthesis chemical equation?


    5. What are the names and chemical formulas for the main greenhouse gases?

    6. Why are the gases listed in question #5 called greenhouse gases?

    7. What human activities have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

    8. Why does the burning of coal not produce water compared with the burning of other fossil fuels such as natural gas and gasoline?

    9. To produce the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, what types of solar radiation (visible, invisible) are involved?

    10. What prevents much of the heat produced at the earth’s surface (land, water, and atmosphere) from escaping into outer space (beyond our upper atmosphere)?

    11. How can the injection of liquefied carbon dioxide gas into old oil reservoirs produce more oil?

    12. What chemical reactions can be used to store carbon dioxide in rock formations rich in magnesium and calcium?



Kilimanjaro: Peering Through Disappearing Ice


    1. The article describes “fossils” for climate and weather. Name three of them.

    2. Where in the world have most ice cores been collected, and why these locations?

    3. Name the two “greenhouse” gases that are trapped in air bubbles in ice cores and that are of interest to paleoclimatologists.

    4. Name the sub-atomic particles that a) are the same in all isotopes of a given element and b) are different in these isotopes.

    5. There are two isotopes of oxygen described in the article. Water made of which of these isotopes vaporizes most easily?

    6. Aerial photographs of Mt. Kilimanjaro show that much of its ice sheet has been lost. What percent has been lost since 1912?



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