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Can You Copperplate?

Lesson Focus 
Lesson explores chemical engineering and explores how the processes of chemical plating and electroplating have impacted many industries. Students work in teams to copper plate a range of items using everyday materials. They develop a hypothesis about which materials and surface preparations will result in the best copper plate, present their plans to the class, test their process, evaluate their results and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.

Age Levels:

12 - 18
Objectives 
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn about chemical engineering.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society's challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • chemical engineering
  • chemical plating and electroplating
  • safety and society
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students explore how engineers have solved societal problems such as developing and improving metal parts by adding a layer of another material to the surface. Students work in teams to develop a chemical system to add a layer of copper to another metal product. They test and evaluate their own results and the results of other teams, and share their reflections with the class.

Resources/Materials 
  • Teacher Resource Documents
  • Student Resource Sheet
  • Student Worksheet

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.


Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
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