Laboratory Requirements and Equipment
LABS ARE NOT OPTIONAL.
All labs for credit must be completed by the close of the school year in June, unless you make special arrangements with the instructor.
Most lab assignments will be available from the web site at the start of the session. Labs will be associated with specific topics, and you are encouraged to complete the lab and send in the report during during the assignment period. You make make arrangements to complete some labs out of sequence if you have trouble obtaining equipment.
IMPORTANT! For safety reasons, both you and your parents must read the safety procedures before starting the lab sequence. Your parents must sign and send a copy of the lab permission letter to me before I can accept any lab reports from you for credit.
Students should be able to perform most labs with only some special equipment (thermometers, test tubes or beakers, heating plates) and some purchased chemicals. Most chemistry labs can be done with household materials and students performing these labs will generally find it less expensive to obtain materials on a lab by lab basis.
If you chose to do a more extensive lab set for AP preparation, and wish to purchase a kit rather than individual items, I highly recommend the CK01A Chemistry kit listed at The Home Scientist, LLC, which includes all the equipment and chemicals required for the advanced labs in the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, except for a good lab gram scale, which you will need to purchase separately.
This equipment list includes standard chemistry lab equipment for a minimal home chemistry lab that should allow you to complete at least one alternative form each lab; we will also be using more generally available household items for many of the labs. If you cannot afford the Chemistry Kit listed above from the Home Scientist, you may be able to complete sufficient labs for honors credit with the equipment listed below. Note that many pieces have perfectly adequate substitutes in items you probably have in your house already. You will need to calibrate appropriately all substitute equipment. You may use any convenient units so long as you are consistent and willing to do the math to convert to SI (metric) units when necessary. When substituting household items for standard equipment, make certain that the substitute meets safety requirements: glass should be used instead of plastic, to avoid problems with acids or solvents, and any container used for heating should be rated to withstand the heat.
In addition to the equipment listed below, many labs will use common household items, such as paper, pens, rulers, cups or jars, food samples, cleaning solutions, plastic bags, etc. These will be listed in the equipment section of the individual labs.
The following chemicals can be found around the house or purchased at your local grocery or drug store.
|Acetic acid||CH3COOH||White vinegar||Grocery|
|Acetyl salicylic acid||====||Aspirin||Grocery|
|Aluminum sulfate||Al2(SO4)3||Aluminum Alum||Drug store|
|Ammonium chloride||NH4Cl||Sal Ammoniac||Drug store|
|Boric acid||H3Bo3||Boric acid eye wash||Drug store|
|Calcium chloride||CaCl2||Ice melt||Hardware|
|Calcium carbonate||CaCO3||Chalk||Drug store|
|Ethyl alcohol||C2H5OH||Ethyl alcohol||Drug store|
|Hydrogen peroxide||H2 O2||Peroxide||Drug store (3% solution)|
|Isopropyl alcohol||(CH3)2 CHOH||Rubbing alcohol||Drug store (70% or 99%)|
|Magnesium sulfate||MgSO * 7H2O4||Epsom salts||Drug store|
|Sodium bicarbonate||NaHCO3||Baking soda||Grocery|
|Sodium carbonate||Na2HCO3||Washing soda||Grocery|
|Sodium chloride||NaCl||Table salt||Grocery|
|Sodium hypochlorate||NaOCl||Chlorine bleach||Grocery|
Review this list frequently. If you have any questions about sources or substitutes for equipment, contact me before continuing.
Lab equipment may be borrowed from schools or purchased. Sometimes local college bookstores or medical schools carry dissection kits; staining kits and other supplies are often available from educational toy stores and science museums. You may also want to check my growing list of mail order suppliers.' ;
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