Activity 1: A Tool for Inquiry
LOGAL Chemical Kinetics
Logal Explorer

What can I expect to get out of doing this activity?

LOGAL is a science and mathematics software company based out of Israel. During the past ten years, they have developed over twenty-five simulations in chemistry, physics, and biology.
LOGAL's Explorer 3.0 simulation software encourages you to design your own experiments and test your own conjectures. You can conduct experiments, interactively record results on a spreadsheet, and generate graphs. LOGAL's Explorer 3.0 allows you to test and understand the behavior of a model. You can pose questions and explore the model by controlling variables, testing limits, and examining interrelationships between variables.

Learning about Chemical Kinetics is the focus of this topic. You should already have installed the CD on your computer. If not, place the Chemical Kinetics CD in your CD drive. After opening the Kinetics Install, simply slide the Student Installation icon over the HD icon for Macintosh or click on the Chemicals Kinetics setup icon in My Computer for Windows. This will place necessary multimedia software on your computer hard drive. You must always have the CD in your computer while running the simulation software even after installation. Locate the Logal Explorer 3.0 folder on your hard drive. To get started simply open the Kinetics Main Menu inside the Kinetics 3.0 (student) folder. Refer to the Chemical Kinetics module if you have further questions.

In this part of the activity you are going to explore the many tools available with Chemical Kinetics. You will get a firsthand feeling for the power of simulation software to bridge the gap between complex mathematical theories and experience.

Activity 1
TO DO Checklist

__ Print this page!

Readings & Hands On
__ Tour LCK.

Initial Thoughts
__ Post your initial comments on Activity 1 and read some of the module-based discussion in the LCK Discussion area. Check out the personal Introductions and Tech FAQ discussions there too.

Local Study Group Meeting
__ Attend LSG meeting where colleagues share their new "tools" for inquiry.

Further Reflection
__ Visit the LCK Discussion area to read more of the dialogue and post additional comments.

You'll investigate:
  • the dynamics and nature of change,
  • visual phenomena that aid in building scientific intuitions,
  • the development of new experimental skills, while asking novel, searching questions.
  • how long will it take? 60 minutes for introductory work with Logal Chemical Kinetics.

    There is no reading assignment for this activity.
    LOGAL Chemical Kinetics is a highly interactive simulation model. It is a microworld in which strategic elements of physical interactions are open for exploration in manners both like and unlike that available in a real laboratory. One can alter sequentially many different parameters within a chemical reaction including molecular size, speed, activation energy and others. To become familiar with the many options, we recommend that you run through First Looks the first item in the opening menu of LOGAL Chemical Kinetics. HINT: Run the STUDENT version, not the teacher simulation. Fewer options make it easier to understand.

    1. Follow the recommended tour in First Looks. Use the navigational tools at the bottom of each screen to move from one page to another.

    Be sure to click on all of the hyperlinks in the First Looks tutorial, especially the movies.

    After completing the First Looks, explore the Model Window illustrated at left.

    The Chemical Kinetics Model Window displays an image of several different kinds of molecules interacting under variable conditions. Menu bars or pallets control conditions like: temperature, molecular size and mass, activation energy, and levels of endo- or exothermic reaction.
    A START, RUN, STOP, STEP menu bar at the left is the master control for the Chemical Kinetics microworld. We'll explore it and the others in this activity.

    In this image the mouse clicks on RUN, STOP master control, and on the Temperature setting window.

    2. Use the Temperature Control to investigate:

    a) What happens when the temperature in the reaction container is increased?

    b) What happens when the temperature is decreased?

    3. Use the Species Tool to change the SIZE of the molecules.

    a) How does the number of collisions change when molecule A is twice the size of molecule B?

    b) You can change the MASS of the molecules in this window also.
    How does the number of collisions change when molecule A is twice the mass of molecule B?

    number of molecules

    4. Challenge

    Go to the screen titled Collisions During a Chemical Reaction. Set Yes for reactions. Set all of the molecules to 20 by moving the sliders. Run the simulation.

    energy iconPlay with the energy icon illustrated at the right. You can change the activation energy with the small bar on the left in the energy icon window. You can change the energy released or required by the reaction (delta H) with the small bar on the right.

    Determine whether an endothermic reaction favors presence of molecules A and B or C or D. Why or why not?