Dr. Edwin Villhauer, a chemistry teacher in Morris County has been awarded a $6,484 grant from the Hipp Foundation to improve lab activities for tenth and twelfth grade students at Morristown High School.

The school’s current science lab equipment only allows a primitive technique from the 19th century to explore the relationship between molecular structure and the amount of energy required to generate a Phase Change from solid to liquid state; the melting point range. While acceptable, the current lab equipment does not provide the precision heat control necessary to determine each stage of the melting point range, depriving students of an advanced understanding of the process. Finding ways to bring that understanding to the classroom could increase the likelihood that a student will consider exploring AP level science courses.

Through the use of Vernier Go Direct Melt Stations, lab activities planned for the school year will support student understanding of intermolecular interactions and the relationship with energy absorbed by the molecules during a phase change – solid to liquid.

AP Chemistry students will perform several experiments using the melt stations and modern scientific processes to identify unknown solid compounds. Introduction to Chemistry students will perform melting point analysis of eight different polar sugars and fatty acids associating temperature of the phase change from solid to liquid.

Once the melt stations are in place, the program is expected to expand from Intro and AP Chemistry classes (110) students to over 250 students per year within one year’s time, and will run for many years without additional cost.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Edwin Villhauer
(973) 292-2000 (Morristown H.S.)
(862) 345-0707 (Home)

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