Lesson Plan : Nitroglycerine and Alfred Nobel

Teacher Name:
 Louis Sharp
Grade:
 Grade 11-12
Subject:
 Science

Topic:
 Discussion of Alfred Nobel and nitroglycerine and how the two are intertwined.
Content:
 Instability of Nitroglycerine - demonstration. Creating stability in nitroglycerine - Nobel adds diatomaceous earth. Nobel discovers dynamite and becomes enormously rich from patents. Nobel suffered from angina pectoris and was given nitroglycerine. Curative effects of nitroglycerine. In his will, Nobel established a trust to award monetary prizes for extraordinary scientific achievements in chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, and peace initiatives.
Goals:
 Students will understand who Nobel was and his work with nitroglycerine and its medical benefits. Students will also understand the areas constituting the Nobel Prize.
Objectives:
 1. From memory, students will be able to describe the stability and shock-sensitivity of nitroglycerine. 2. From memory, students will be able to name the scientist who discovered dynamite and its components. 3. From a listing of photographs, students will be able to discern Alfred Nobel. 4. From memory, students will be able to name one medical use of nitroglycerine. 5. From memory, students will be able to name one category in which the Nobel Prize is awarded.
Materials:
 Nitroglycerine (olive oil), diatomaceous earth (flour), snaps (0.18g of very small gravel coated with 0.0008g (0.000028 oz) of silver fulminate Ag2(CNO2)2), a mixing bowl. Handouts of Alfred Nobel's picture. Handout of Alfred Nobel with 4 other figures. Handout of curative effects of nitroglycerine. Handout of categories of the Nobel Prize.
Introduction:
 Begin lecture by dropping a snap into the mixing bowl and telling the class about stability and shock-sensitivity of nitroglycerine. Then tell the class that in 1867 Alfred Nobel mixed 3 parts nitroglycerine with 1 part diatomaceous earth to create dynamite - the most powerful explosive known to man at that time.
Development:
 1. Repeat the introduction section on Saturday. 2. Provide a handout of Alfred Nobel's picture when telling the class of Nobel's dynamite discovery. Have on the bottom of the picture the formulation of 3 parts nitro and one part diatomaceous earth. Have on bottom of picture dates of dynamite discovery and dates of Nobel's life. 3. Tell about the growth of Nobel's enormous wealth from dynamite sales for industrial use. 4. Tell how although Nobel loved peace, he wrongly believed that dynamite would never be used militarily since it would assure the mutual destruction of both sides. 5. Provide a handout of a portion of Nobel's will, 1895, delineating the 5 areas of awards for achievement. 6. Tell class that Nobel was prescribed nitroglycerine for his angina (pain from heart disease). 7. Provide a handout of the curative affects of nitroglycerine.
Practice:
 1. Ask the class whether nitroglycerine is stable or is it highly shock-sensitive? 2. Ask the class to give one component of dynamite. 3. Ask the class to pick-out Nobel's picture from a grouping of 5 people. 4. Ask the class to name one medical use for nitroglycerine. 5. Ask the class to name one category for the Nobel Prize.
Checking For Understanding:
 1. Ask the class whether nitroglycerine is stable or is it highly shock-sensitive? 2. Ask the class to give one component of dynamite. 3. Ask the class to pick-out Nobel's picture from a grouping of 5 people. 4. Ask the class to name one medical use for nitroglycerine. 5. Ask the class to name one category for the Nobel Prize.
Closure:
 Any questions from the class?

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