Using A Spreadsheet To Solve Gas Law Problems

Branch, Arthur Tilden H.S.

Objectives: To teach students in the Chemistry classes to use a computer spreadsheet; to teach the students how to utilize a spreadsheet to solve problems using the gas laws and the formulas corresponding. Apparatus: Using the IBM PC computers and the Express Calc program each student will load the spreadsheet with the given information for each problem. Students will then compute the unknown volume, temp (K) or pressure according to the existing conditions. Strategy: With a 30 min. review session of the gas law concepts, formulas, and problem solving techniques, students will complete a worksheet. Upon completion of this worksheet students will type in the given information on the computer spreadsheet in the appropriate places. Utilizing the column and formula duplication functions (replicate), student will discover a means of computing many similar calculations in a matter of seconds. Observations Most students were very enthusiastic about using the computer in the first place. Students were able to pick right up from the review session and convert the gas law formulas to computer spreadsheet formulas. Most if not all students continued to work with little assistance for twenty to thirty minutes past the end of the scheduled class time. Everyone learned to use the spreadsheet effectively and most gathered a better understanding of the gas laws and their formulas.
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