S&S Activity 2.1: Assessment

Assessment takes place in Step 5 of the activity when students share ideas about what ethanol and water might look like at the atomic-molecular scale. Although many students will be familiar with the molecular formula for water, fewer students will understand what that means - that a water molecule has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Very few students will know the formula for ethanol (C2H5OH). Even students who know the meaning of the formulas may not be able to connect atomic-molecular scale formulas with macroscopic-scale phenomena. For example, they may have trouble drawing what water molecules look like in a drop of water or as water vapor in the air.