Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Rare gasses - chemistry
Name of the teacher
Maria Fabianova
Country where it took place
School typology
Lower Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
In the periodic table rare gasses are located in the last main subgroup, therefore, in the 8th subgroup. They are not rare in a sense we are accustomed to. It is an ironic name, because with the other elements they do not form chemical compounds. They are innocent about it. It is the structure of the electron shell, which does not allow them to react this way.
This subgroup includes helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon. For example, argon can be translated as lazy. All f these elements occur in a small quantity in the air.
Helium was first discovered in the Sun, hence his name. It is the product of the reaction that happens in the Sun. After hydrogen it is the second most abundant element in the universe. Now it is used for filling balloons. It replaced hydrogen which began to be used for these purposes shortly after its discovery at the end of the 18th century.
Neon is being used to fill advertising tubes making this planet to "shine". Thanks to this the astronomical observations are possible only far from civilization - in the deserts or in the mountains.
Argon has an incredibly low boiling point: -186 degrees Celsius, so it is used for cooling.
Radon is highly radioactive; it is used for destruction of cancer cells.
Scientists managed to get “compound" xenon XePtF6 only a few decades ago. It is not a compound in the literal sense, because there is no chemical bond among the elements, which is decisive for a given compound and its properties.
This topic is not particularly difficult. It is descriptive and you could get a lot out of it if I went back to the chemical bond and the structure of the atomic shell. However, the students have already forgotten this curriculum from long time ago, so I prefer to turn their attention to Las Vegas with all of its “fire” light advertising which evokes the atmosphere of constantly pulsing life. Then we start talking about casinos so I ask students how they perceive the game. They tell me their opinions: as fun it can escalate into an addiction, the probability theory from mathematics can also be used while playing, and the final conclusion is that in the long-term playing on gaming machines one can not win.
I evaluate this as a positive experience.

Comments on this Teachers Experience

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Date: 2014.11.22

Posted by Anita Krismane (Latvia)

A wonderful model of understanding. That is what is need descriptive theory of memorization.
I work in a similar, but suggest that the student create awareness in all models of chemistry topics . It is very helpful to understand and memorize the learning process.

Date: 2014.09.27

Posted by Monika ()

I had similar problem during my career. Described method seems to be effective and I want to try it.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.