Moles on the shelf

Celebrating the 80s - 50th Celebration of Chem 13 News

After I introduce moles to my chemistry class, I set out a display on a shelf that students see when they enter the room. The display is titled: SEE AND TOUCH A MOLE. It consists of samples of preweighed molar masses of about four elements and four compounds. Most of the samples are in sealed containers, but elements like sulfur and lead are not. I label each item with name, mass and symbol or formula. I also have a large notice that each sample contains Avogadro’s number of formula units: 6.02 x 1023.

I find that this is a good way for students to experience first hand that moles of different substances are not the same size and to get a better “feel” of what a mole is.

Two years ago I obtained a preserved mole from a biology teacher and have added it to my display for a bit of humor.

(Thanks to Ronald N. Ulrich, Avon Central School, Avon NY).

October 1983