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Exploring Interactive and Dynamic Simulations Using a Computer Algebra System in an Advanced Placement Chemistry Course

Paul S. Matsumoto
Organization: Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
Journal / Anthology

Journal of Chemical Education
Year: 2014
Volume: 91
Page range: 1326−1333

The article describes the use of Mathematica, a computer algebra system (CAS), in a high school chemistry course. Mathematica was used to generate a graph, where a slider controls the value of parameter(s) in the equation; thus, students can visualize the effect of the parameter(s) on the behavior of the system. Also, Mathematica can show the steps in the solution to an algebraic expression (e.g., solving equilibrium problems), which can benefit students with weak algebra skills. The CAS was used to create interactive and dynamic simulations in support of an inquiry-based advanced placement chemistry Beer’s law, kinetics, and solubility of ionic compounds laboratory activities. A primer in the use of some Mathematica commands is included. This contribution is part of a special issue on teaching introductory chemistry in the context of the advanced placement (AP) chemistry course redesign.

*Education > Precollege

High School/Introductory Chemistry, First-Year Undergraduate/General, Curriculum, Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary, Computer-Based Learning