Online Lab Submission
Students: Instructors: Virtual Labs: Pre-Lab Assignments
Interactive Animations:

Activity Series Tutorial

In less than 5 minutes, the Activity Series Tutorial can teach students the following activity series . . .

Li > K > Ba > Ca > Na > Mg > Al > Mn > Zn > Cr > Fe > Co > Ni > Sn > Pb > H > Cu > Ag > Hg > Pt > Au

Since students will always have a Periodic Table nearby, the tutorial reveals  6 patterns in the Periodic Table : that students use to learn the activity order of the 21 metals that comprise the activity series:

  • Lithium is the most active metal (think Lithium batteries) . . . . it is the 1st member of the activity series.
  •  The 2's : starting at Li, go down two to K, over and down two to Ba, and up two to Ca. Na and Mg are the last members in this group.
  •  PingPong : click the PingPong button to see the ball move back and forth across the "Periodic Table" . . . . from Mg to Al, then to Mn, then to Zn and finally to Cr.
  •  The 3's : Fe and Co and Ni.
  •  The 2's : Sn and Pb.
  •  The 1 : H
  •  The Inverted T (⊥): Cu and Ag and Hg and Pt and Au.
  • Gold is the least active metal (think Jewelry) . . . . it is the 21st member of the activity series

Unfortunately, just knowing the activity series is of little use unless you also know what it means and how to use it. The rest of the tutorial teaches the student how to use this information to determine "if" a reaction will occur as written.

To start the tutorial, click the Play button.  Continue clicking the Play button until the 21 metals in the activity series have been listed in order of decreasing activity.  The next part of the tutorial teaches the student how to determine if a reaction will occur as written. The final part of the tutorial challenges the student with 5 randomized reactions where they must accurately predict the outcome:

  • the reaction will occur.
  • the reaction won't occur.

Chem21Labs animations provide a safe environment for learning . . . . students receive "full credit" when they complete the animation correctly - it does not matter how many times they miss part of it and have to start over. This animation is typically a lecture assignment, but can be assigned as a post-lab activity for labs containing RedOx reactions . . . . assigning the same interactive tutorial in lecture and lab is a great way to "connect" the learning between the two classes.