Category Archives: Grade 12 Chemistry

Atomic Structure

History of Atomic Theory

Watch the video below.

✍️    In your notebook, draw an annotated diagram to represent the ideas on the structure of the atom from each of the following scientists:

  1. Democritus
  2. Dalton
  3. Rutherford
  4. Bohr
  5. Heisenberg

Structure of the Atom

What does an atom mainly consist of?

✍️   To get an idea of the proportions within an atom, look at the following video.  After watching it, write a brief summary of the main points in your notebook.

✍️   Examine table 4 in your data booklet.  How much more mass does a proton or neutron have compared to an electron?

Take a look at the figure below describing nuclear symbols.

What is the difference between the mass number and the atomic number?

✍️  For each of the three examples above, write down the number of protons, electrons and neutrons represented by the notation.

Below is a simulation that can be used to practice this notation.  Choose the game option and try all the puzzles.  Don’t move to the next puzzle until you get 5 out of 5!

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Table 3 in your data booklet has a version of the electromagnetic spectrum.

✍️  Using Table 3 and the graphic above, describe the relationships between colour, wavelength, frequency and energy across the spectrum.  Make a summary in your notebook.

Find an example of:

  • an emission spectrum
  • a line spectrum
  • an absorption spectrum

What are the key differences and similarities?
Which of the above were we looking at when we viewed the purple light given off from the hydrogen sample through the diffraction grating in our last class?

Watch the two videos below on the emission spectrum of hydrogen and read the section in your text.  Make a summary for discussion in class tomorrow.

Video #1

Video #2

At the end of this animation, you can try the different transitions yourself.

G12 Cover

1. Calculate concentration of your sodium carbonate solution

Make sure you propagate the error.  Check with your partner that you have the same number.   The concentration if calculated properly should have at least 3 dps (possibly 4) according to the measurement uncertainty.

2.  Titration calculations

You will finish your titration next week.  This week you will practice some titration calculations.  You will find them on the Google+.

3.  Trends in the oxides of period 3

Complete the hand out.  You will need to fill in the :

  1. Name of the oxide (IUPAC)
  2. What state it would be in at room temperature (solid, liquid, gas).
  3. If it conducts electricity when molten
  4. What type(s) of bonding are present?  Ionic, covalent and any intermolecular forces?
  5. Write the equation for the reaction with water.
  6. From the equation, determine if the oxide is acidic, basic or amphoteric!

4. Study / Work on Final of IA

If you have your draft back, you can use this time to work on the final copy.  If you don’t have the draft back, you could use the rest of the time to do your own private study for chemistry.  This could include:

  • making a quizlet list
  • learning a quizlet list
  • practicing questions from old topics on the google+ or elsewhere
  • reading ahead in acids and bases and making your own notes

The Gas Laws

1.  Avagadro’s Law

Equal volumes of gases at the same temperature and pressure contain equal numbers of molecules.

Take a look at one or more of the following sources that explain this law.  Alternatively, read chapter 1.3 in your textbook.

✍  Make your own summary in your notebook.

Avagadro’s Law Sources

✍  Now apply the Law by completing these questions:

Avogadro’s Law questions and their answers.
Find more questions in your textbook.

2. More Gas Laws

You can use the PhET simulation below to see the various changes in temperature, pressure and volume of a fixed amount of gas when you change one of these variables.

Gas Properties

Click to Run


A summary of the various gas laws defining the relationships between volume, temperature and pressure are found below.

V = volume in dm3
T = temperature in K
P = pressure in kPa

Note that these relationships are not given to you in the data booklet.

These laws can be represented graphically too.

Read the section in your textbook, and look at the sites mentioned for Avogadro’s Law to find more information if needed.

✍  Write a summary in your notebook.

3. Kinetic Theory of Gases and the Ideal Gas Law

The kinetic theory describes a gas as a large number of submicroscopic particles (atoms or molecules), all of which are in constant rapid motion that has randomness arising from their many collisions with each other and with the walls of the container.

✍  The kinetic theory of gases is used to describe the motion and behaviour of an ideal gas.  Using your text and other relevant sources, describe the differences between an ideal gas and a real gas in your notebook.

The molar volume of any gas at STP (standard temperature and pressure) is represented below.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 1.16.53 PM

Many sources quote the molar volume of a gas as 22.4 dm3.  This is using a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa NOT 100 kPa which is the new standard adopted by the IB!  Beware of past paper questions using the old value!  The new value has been used only since the 2016 exams!  If in doubt, check your data booklet – the value is quoted there as 22.7 dm3.

Combining all the equations so far, we can derive the ideal gas equation.  This is in your data booklet as is the value for R which is the ideal gas constant.  Check to make sure you know where to find these.

You will need to be able to solve problems based on these laws.  Once you feel comfortable with them and you have read and taken relevant notes from chapter 1.3 in your text, you can try the following problems.

Answers (remember that some of these might use 22.4 instead of 22.7 as the molar volume of an ideal gas at STP.)

Studying for IB Chemistry

johnny-automatic-look-it-up-300pxIB Chemistry is a challenging subject whether you are doing SL or HL.  Content heavy subjects can be tricky so here is a guide with some practical tips for studying.

How much time should I spend studying?

This is different for different people and you will need to work out the best course of action for you.  The research says though that distributed practice is more effective than mass practice for learning.  In other words, forget cramming!  After first semester of grade 11, the volume of content covered makes cramming too difficult anyway.  And you definitely want to avoid having to re-learn the course every time you sit a test or exam.  Better to learn it as you go!

So what does this mean?  Here are some guidelines.

    • Students who are feeling less confident
      30 minutes of study every other day or 4 days a week
  • Students who are feeling more confident
    30 minutes of study 3 times a week

These are guidelines which you need to adjust for your own needs.

When should I study?

You need a routine and you need to stick to it.  IB students have an incredibly packed timetable.

  1. Map out your schedule.
    Use a calendar app like Google Calendar or iCal to map out your schedule.
    Put everything on to it and see where the gaps are.

Include in your calendar:

  • Your class schedule (easy to subscribe to from Veracross)
  • Your clubs and after school commitments like sports etc
  • Time to do homework – this is separate from studying!
  • Free time – time to play, exercise, watch tv or whatever!
    1. Note where the gaps are and allocate those times for study for various subjects.
      If you see that there isn’t enough time, you may need to make some adjustments and prioritise.  Are you over committed with clubs/sports?  Free time is important for balance but 3 hours a night is just as unbalanced as no or little free time!
  1. Display your schedule.
    Print this out and put this up somewhere near where you study.  Share it with your parents so they can help support you too.

How should I study?

In Chemistry there are basically three things you need to do:

  1. memorise information
  2. understand chemical concepts deeply enough to apply them
  3. perform certain skills eg calculations

You need to study differently for these three different tasks.  Here’s how.

Memorising Information

There are lots of definitions, formulae and diagrams that you need to be able to recall.  Often these are one point questions on the exam but all those one pointers add up!  Don’t miss out on easy marks!

Here are two strategies for memorising information.

    1. Flashcards
      Whether you use a program like quizlet or if you just make them by hand, practicing with these for a few minutes regularly will quickly find you memorising things fast.  If you use quizlet it is important that you complete the learn function before trying any of the games or tests.
  1. Hand writing
    Many people find writing information out by hand again and again until you can do it from memory to be more effective for memorising.  Have a master copy of everything you need to memorise (like your definitions sheet).

Below is one page of Rino’s definition doc.  Notice how she has organised the information in a way that works for her – by topic.  She has also included diagrams and other information she feels important to remember.  Creating this document also makes her think about what information is important to include.  She can then use either of the strategies above to memorise the information.  And she can ask her parents or friends to test her knowledge from the sheet.

Understanding chemical concepts deeply enough to apply them

This is trickier.  Many students think that just re-reading their notes or text is enough but this actually doesn’t help much.  Here are some strategies you can use.

    1. Reading before and after class
      Read the section in your text that we will be covering in class before the class.  Then when you get home, re-read the same section.  This doesn’t take very long and you can do it on the train!  You’ll be surprised how much you will remember the following class if you do this!
        1. Close your textbook/notes and make a map!
          Without consulting your notes or textbook, organise what you know on a piece of paper from memory.  Use a pencil so you can add, change and delete as necessary.There is a lot of ways to organise your information.  Here are a few possibilities:

          Organise with headings
          Organise using appropriate BrainFrames™ (use multiple types depending on the information) or other types of concept maps you’re familiar with.Give examples where possible
          Use colour to group related ideas
          Use arrows or lines to connect related ideas or
          Group related ideas by position on the page

          Now open your notes or text and add anything you missed or didn’t include correctly.  In you next study session, repeat the exercise until you can produce a map/summary with all the information you deem important from memory.Keep and display your best one.  Add to it when concepts from other topics connect to it.  This should be growing and changing as you move through the course.

                  1. Keep a list of questions / confusing points
                    Write down any questions you have from reviewing past material and answer them as soon as possible.  Here are a list of resources you can use that might have the answer immediately:

                    skype a peer
                    your text book
                    try a tutorial video from Dr Richard Thornley or Mike Sugiyama Jones
                    IB Chem wikibooks
                    IB Chemistry Web
                    InThinking IB Chem website for students

                    No joy?
                    Here are some things you can do to get help that isn’t immediate:

                    email your teacher
                    post your question to IB Chemistry @ YIS
                    post your question to a student forum like IB Survival
              1. Form a study group
                Discussing concepts with your peers is a great way to solidify your understanding.  Use a study hall at school, an arranged meeting time in the library or arrange a skype chat.Here are some tips on making this effective:

                Make it a once a week deal.
                Be prepared – agree on what you will discuss before the meeting so you can review a bit before hand and identify the tricky bits you need help on.
                Talk – don’t just sit back and listen.  Actively participate.  Ask questions.
                Decide on the next meeting and topic before the end of the current meeting.

                Below is a protocol you can follow in your study group.   Just make a copy!

Practicing skills

Often this involves calculation practise.  Like everything else you should spread this out.  Don’t practice ∆H calculations from Bond Enthalpies for 3 hours and then never do another problem for six months!  Once you feel confident with a type of calculation, do one problem of that type every couple of weeks or so to keep it fresh.

If there is a certain type of calculation you find hard, start with easy examples and work up.  And if the easy ones stump you – seek help immediately!

Where can you find problems to practice?

  • Your text book – do them all!
  • The problem sets posted on IB Chemistry @ YIS
  • Search for them on the internet
  • Ask your teacher

Finally, you will need to practice exam type questions.  You can do this by re-doing old tests, practicing past paper questions supplied to you by your teacher or that you find on the internet.  You should do these under timed conditions (roughly 1.5 minutes per mark) so you get used to the pressure.

How to get motivated

This is the big one!  Lots of people know what they need to do but getting motivated to sit down and do it is really hard.  I struggle with this all the time.  Here is what works for me most of the time…

Finding the right time

I schedule everything.  I know that I work best in the mornings, so I try and do some work before school starts – this is easy for me because I don’t have a long commute.  I also look at my schedule for the next day and plan before I finish for the evening, what I’m going to get done the next day and when.  This helps a lot.

Finding the right place

Make sure you have the right environment that is conducive for your study.  Make sure your desk or work space is clear and you have everything you need.  Don’t respond to emails, texts, skype etc whilst you are working.  Put your phone on silent.  Leave these distractions for when you are on a break as a reward.  Listen to quiet instrumental music.

Small chunks is key

I use something called the Pomodoro technique.  This involves breaking down my work/study into 25 minute chunks.  Knowing I only have 25 minutes of work before I get a break makes it easier to start.  I decide how many 25 minute chunks I’m going to do, and then I count them down.  My record is 16!


Let’s share our best tips!

Do you have a technique that works really well for you?  Please share it by commenting on this post.  I want to keep adding and refining ideas and techniques to this post to make it the best resource possible!


Image credits

Look it up! by Johnny Automatic and shared on

Grade 12 Friday – Waste

Waste – Option E (Environmental Chemistry)

Take notes on waste using the text and/or these videos.  You can break your notes down into four sections.  Try structuring them like the past two sections that I did for you, if you found that useful.

  1. Methods of waste disposal
    Include landfills and incineration.  You need to outline (two or three sentences) what they are about and compare them.
  2. Recycling
    You need to describe (three to four sentences) how metal, glass, plastic and paper are recycled.  Then you need to give the benefits of recycling.  This can be in point form.
  3. Types of radioactive waste
    For both low-level and high-level radioactive wastes, you need to describe their characteristics and give their sources.
  4. Storage and Disposal of radioactive wastes
    Here you need to compare the different methods used for storing and disposing of high-level and low-level radioactive wastes.

Finally, I have shared with you two past exams and the answer keys.  You can work on these at the end.  Make sure you mark any questions you aren’t sure of and ask a friend or me next week.


Grade 12 Friday – Period 1 Cover

Dissolved Oxygen in Water

  1. Read E5 Dissolved Oxygen in Water pg 451-2 of text.
  2. Make your own notes.
  3. Choose a video on E5 from Dr Richard Thornley or Mike Jones and add anything you need to your notes.

We have finished discussing environmental issues with the atmosphere.  In short, these were:

Moon Over Earth (NASA, International Space Station, 07/31/11) [Explored]

    • Air pollution and Smog (HL)
    • Acid Deposition
    • Greenhouse Effect
    • Ozone Depletion

Use inspiration or other suitable tool to create a concept map as a summary of atmospheric pollution and its impacts.

Image credit

Moon over earth shared on Flickr by NASA’s Marshall’s Flight Centre’s Photostream CC BY-NC 2.0


Grade 12 Cover – 10, 11 and 17th February

Hi Grade 12’s

There is NO study hall during the lead up to the mocks whilst I’m away.  I expect SL and HL to be in attendance for all lessons.

Mock Exam Guide

Standard Level

Exam covers all topics 1-11 except topic 8 (Acids and Bases).  Option D – medicines and drugs is also not covered!

Paper one – 45 minutes

  • Answer ALL questions
  • No calculator or data booklet but you do get a periodic table.

Paper two – 75 minutes

  • Answer ALL questions in part A
    This section will include a data question ie calculation!
  • Answer ONE question in part B
    Read all three questions during reading time and decide which one you will do.  You have a choice from 3 questions.
  • Data booklet supplied and calculator allowed.

Higher Level

Exam covers all topics 1-21 except topics 8,18 (Acids and Bases).  Option D – medicines and drugs is also not covered!

Paper one – 60 minutes

  • Answer ALL questions
  • No calculator or data booklet but you do get a periodic table.

Paper two – 135 minutes

  • Answer ALL questions in part A
    This section will include a data question ie calculation!
  • Answer TWO questions in part B
    Read all three questions during reading time and decide which one you will do.  You have a choice from 4 questions.
  • Data booklet supplied and calculator allowed.

Standard Level

  1. Finish your final IA and submit it to Turn-It-In by Friday 13th!
  2. You will be working through the following papers as revision.   Try and do them under test conditions at first, then mark them and practise the questions you couldn’t do.
    Example Paper 1          Answers
    Example Paper 2          Answers
  3. Extra questions can be found on the google+ community separated into topics.

Good luck!

Higher Level

  1. Finish your final IA and submit it to Turn-It-In by Friday 13th!
  2. Review and take notes from the following videos to finish off topic 18 Acids and Bases.  No more calculations here!  Yay!  Take a note of any questions you have about the videos and we will review them after your mock exams.

3. To prepare for your mocks, you can work through the following papers:

Example paper 1       Answers
Example paper 2        Answer

12B Cover Period 3 & 4

Hi Lovelies

Standard Level

  1. Organise yourselves into two groups.  If someone is away then you’ll just have to be one group and do both tasks.
  2. Create and informative poster for each of the following processes:
    Contact Process
    Haber Process
  3. Each poster should contain the following information:
    The equation for the reversible reaction involved in the process.
    The conditions necessary to maximise yield (to favour the forward reaction)
    The conditions actually used in industry – be specific and give actual numbers for temp and pressure.
    Reasons why in industry the ideal conditions are not used.
  4. You will find poster paper in the cupboard above the beakers and art supplies in the top drawer of the filing cabinet.  When you’re done, put the finished posters in the shower.
  5. If you finish early, there is a revision packet on the Google+

Friday next week there will be a test on Topic 7, with one question from each of topics 1,2,3 and opt D thrown in for good measure!  It is on the Verycross!  Yay!

Friday is study hall for you unless the posters aren’t finished.  However, if you still want to come and work on the revision packet in class so you can ask questions, feel free.

Higher Level

  1. Watch the following video explaining how to do calculations involving Kc and equilibrium expressions:
  2. Try these questions first to start you off.  The answers can be found at the link at the bottom of the page.  You will need to scroll down the page that is linked to find the answers.
  3. On the Google+ there are some past paper questions (3 exactly) for you to try that are a bit more difficult.

Friday next week there will be a test on Topic 7, with one question from each of topics 1,2,3 and opt D thrown in for good measure!  It is on the Verycross!  Yay!

12 A Cover Period 1 & 2

Hi Lovelies!

Standard Level

  1. Finish your posters from yesterday.  Collect them from the shower.  There are coloured pens etc in M311 behind the sliding whiteboard as you enter.  Otherwise take them from my room but remember to put them back and try not to disturb Mrs Harrison’s class too much.
  2. Each group needs to share and explain their posters with the HL students and each other.  At the end of the lesson please return the posters to the shower and I will staple them to the roof of our room.
  3. There is a revision packet on the Google+ waiting for you as you’ve now finished this topic.

    Friday next week there will be a test on Topic 7, with one question from each of topics 1,2,3 and opt D thrown in for good measure!  It is on the Verycross. Yay!

    Friday is study hall for you but feel free to come and work on the revision in M313 so you can ask for help if you need it.

Higher Level

  1. There are some past paper questions (3 to be exact) on the google+ using calculations for you to  try.
  2. The standard level students will explain to you their posters on the Contact Process and the Haber process.  You need to know these too.
  3. For each of the 3 videos found HERE, take your own notes or add to the collaborative notes on the document.
  4. Discuss each video with each other so you all have a clear understanding of the points made.

    Friday next week there will be a test on Topic 7, with one question from each of topics 1,2,3 and opt D thrown in for good measure!  It is on the Verycross.  Yay!

Grade 12 Period 1 Friday

Hello folks!

I’m at the Chiku Centre helping to prepare food for homeless people.  You’ve already had you’re breakfast, so you should be ready to go.  Here is what I want you to do today.

  1. View the following presentation on Stimulants
  2. Read the chapter on stimulants in the text I shared with you on the Google+.  Either make a copy of the presentation or print it out, and annotate it with notes to clarify the points on the slides.
  3. Study, quietly, for the quiz I am going to give you when I arrive at about 9:30am ish.
  4. Be good.

See you soon!