Chemical Reactions: Rates of Chemical Reactions

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the third of four Science Objects in the Chemical Reactions SciPack. It demonstrates how chemical reactions can take place in time periods ranging from the few femto-seconds (10-15 seconds) required for an atom to move a fraction of a chemical bond distance to geologic time scales of billions of years. The rate of reactions among atoms and molecules depends on how often they encounter one another, which is affected by the concentration, pressure (for gases), and temperature of the reacting substances. The configuration of atoms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties. Shapes are particularly important in determining how large molecules interact with others. Some atoms and molecules called catalysts are highly effective in accelerating chemical reactions. Chemical reactions in living systems are catalyzed by protein molecules called enzymes.

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  • Middle

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Reviews (7)
  • on Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:37 PM

This is a great science object to use if you need a refresher on the material! Very easy to follow!


  • on Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:01 PM

The explanations were very clear and the simulations were excellent.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:22 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Chemical Reactions: Rates of Chemical Reactions Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are really beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:25 PM

Amazing resource on physical science. The highlights have been so interesting and well researched that educators and learners would definitely learn beyond any other resources available.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:45 PM

This Science Object was absolutely crystal clear. The simulations were very well-defined and filled with information that educators can use. I made a comment about how difficult the Categorizing Chemical Reactions Science Object was to grasp; this was the polar opposite. It made the concept of chemical reaction rates seem to be eminently teachable, covering every aspect of how and why chemical reaction rates take place in their respective timeframes.

Duane Little  (Washington, DC)
Duane Little (Washington, DC)

  • on Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:34 PM

This SciPack series is a first stop for anyone who wants a review of basic chemistry content before teaching about chemical reactions. The tutorial is very user-friendly, engaging and allows you to progress at your own pace.

Lara  (New Haven, CT)
Lara (New Haven, CT)

  • on Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:35 PM

This science object provided clear information with excellent graphics and graphs. The questions that checked for understanding were very helpful for self assessment. It also presented the material in a format ready to be taught.

Michele  (Manalapan, NJ)
Michele (Manalapan, NJ)

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