Having the opportunity to have an Analytical Balance in the classroom really does open the doors for our students when it comes to data collection. In chemistry specifically, one of the core analytical units we cover is Stoichiometry. Stoichiometry is essentially the study of mass and volume relationships in a chemical reaction. It allows us to determine formulas of chemical compounds, predict how much of a specific mass or volume to expect from a given chemical reaction, and also how to analyze the efficiency of a chemical reaction. An analytical balance allows students to make the smallest of mass measurements, ensuring a high degree of accuracy of their results, especially with units like this. Some of the experiments this balance will help our students the most are:
1. Empirical Formula of Magnesium Oxide
2. Mole Ratio of Silver and Copper
3. Empirical Formula of Silver Oxide (AP Chemistry)
4. Gravimetric Analysis of a Metal Carbonate
The purchase of this balance through Flinn, one of the largest science equipment suppliers for education in the country, offers several benefits. For the balance itself, it has a fairly high load capacity, compared to most balances. Load Capacity is the maximum amount of mass the balance can measure. It is also the largest source of equipment failure, where students load too much mass and overload the balance. Another great feature of the balance is that is comes with calibration weights, so that accurate measurements can be sustained over time.
Allowing our students to have access to the same analytical tools that scientists equips them to make real meaning of their data, which supports the instructional shifts of an NGSS classroom. At a time when student exploration and experimentation is the driving force in the acquisition of content in the classroom, students must have access to modern technology and analytical equipment that supports their work.