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Activity Number
140
Not Editable
Overview and Learning Objectives
Central Concepts
Textbook References
Benchmarks and Standards
Activity Credits
Requirements

Water: Getting to Know the Water Molecule (a 7-page activity)

Interactive, scaffolded model

Activity Screenshot

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This Activity Requires:

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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Overview and Learning Objectives

Students discover that water molecules are polar, and that the polarity makes water a liquid under normal conditions (room temperature and average atmospheric pressure). In the previous activity, students built their model of a simplified cell with solutions on both sides of a membrane. In this activity students "turn up the magnification" to look at water molecules and their interrelations in a network of other water molecules, thus expanding their understanding of the properties of water and aquatic solutions.

Students will be able to:

  • represent, in drawing or text, that on an atomic level, water is a network of polar molecules linked together by hydrogen bonds;
  • revise their model of an erythrocyte in solution to incorporate their molecular view of water.

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Central Concepts

Key Concept:

Water molecules are small and highly polarized. Their polar nature gives water its unique, macroscopic properties. On a microscopic level, water is a network of these polarized molecules linked together by hydrogen bonds.

Additional Related Concepts

Biology

  • Elements of Life
  • Fluids

Molecular Biology

  • Polar molecules
  • Polar nature of water

Physics/Chemistry

  • Solubility
  • Solutions
  • Water

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Textbook References

  • Biology (Miller and Levine) Prentice Hall 5th Edition - Unit I: Chapter 3 - Introduction to Chemistry
  • Biology (Prentice-Hall) New York Edition - Chapter Two - The Chemistry of Life
  • Biology: Concepts and Connections (Pearson) 5th Edition - Chapter 2: The Chemical Basis of Life
  • Biology: Exploring Life - Chapter 4: The Chemical Basis of Life
  • Biology: Exploring Life - Chapter 5: The Molecules of Life
  • BSCS Blue (8th Edition) - Chapter 1: The Chemistry of Life
  • BSCS Human - Chapter 8: The Cellular Basis of Activity
  • Cell Biology (Pollard and Earnshaw) Saunders 2002 - Chapter Two: Molecular Structures
  • Web of Life - Chapter 2: Chemical Basis of Life

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Benchmarks and Standards

AAAS

  • COMMON THEMES: Models - The basic idea of mathematical modeling is to find a mathematical relationship that behaves in the same ways as the objects or processes under investigation (Full Text of Standard)

  • COMMON THEMES: Models - The usefulness of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations in the real world (Full Text of Standard)

  • THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT: CELLS - A living cell is composed of a small number of chemical elements mainly carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur (Full Text of Standard)

  • THE PHYSICAL SETTING: THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER - Atoms often join with one another in various combinations in distinct molecules or in repeating three-dimensional crystal patterns (Full Text of Standard)

  • THE PHYSICAL SETTING: THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER - The configuration of atoms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties (Full Text of Standard)

NSES

  • Physical-Science: Matter Structure/Properties - 5 Solids, liquids, and gases differ in the distances and angles between molecules (Full Text of Standard)

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Activity Credits

Created by CC Project: Molecular Workbench using Molecular Workbench + Pedagogica

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Requirements

  • Java 1.5+ - Java 1.5+ is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X 10.4 and greater. If you are using Mac OS X 10.3, you can download MW Version 1.3 and explore within it instead.

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These materials are based upon work supported
by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers
9980620, ESI-0242701 and EIA-0219345

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