Key Idea: Many substances react chemically in predictable ways with other substances to form new substances with different characteristic properties.

Students are expected to know that:

  1. When substances react chemically one or more new substances are formed.
  2. If a new substance does not appear, a chemical reaction did not occur.
  3. The products of a chemical reaction can be identified as new substances because each product has different characteristic properties from the original substances under the same conditions.
  4. Liquids, solids, or gases can be reactants or products in chemical reactions.
  5. It is possible for a single substance to undergo a chemical reaction, such as when the substance is heated or an electrical current flows through the substance.
  6. It is not true that all chemical reactions are irreversible.

Boundaries:

  1. Students are not expected to know that chemical reactions involve the rearrangement of atoms into new molecules. This idea is addressed in a later idea (Idea D).
  2. Students are also not expected to know that nuclear reactions are not chemical reactions nor why nuclear reactions are not chemical reactions. Nuclear reactions are addressed in later ideas (4E/H6* and 4G/H6*)
  3. By “predictable ways,” we mean that the same products will be formed when the same reactants are combined regardless of location and experimental set-up. Students are not expected to predict what the products of a reaction will be.
  4. Students are expected to know that the original substances in a chemical reaction are called reactants and the resulting substances are called products but they will not be assessed on these definitions.
Percent of students answering correctly (click on the item ID number to view the item and additional data)
Item ID
Number
Knowledge Being Assessed Grades
6–8
Grades
9–12
Select This Item for My Item Bank

SC072004

Chemical reactions produce solids, liquids, or gases.

See the Original Project

SC072003

Chemical reactions produce solids, liquids, or gases.

See the Original Project

SC069007

When a chemical reaction occurs, the characteristic properties of the products are different than the characteristic properties of the reactants. (This item used a table to show the properties of the substances.)

See the Original Project

SC049003

A chemical reaction always results in the formation of a new substance, which can be a solid, liquid, or gas.

See the Original Project

SC029003

Forming a white solid by mixing two clear liquids is an example of a chemical reaction.

See the Original Project

SC101003

Bubbles of gas forming as a seashell is placed in vinegar is an example of a chemical reaction.

See the Original Project

SC071003

The surface of a copper penny changing color after being in a drawer for years is an example of a chemical reaction.

See the Original Project

SC065004

Burning a marshmallow is an example of a chemical reaction.

See the Original Project

SC067003

When two liquids are mixed together and a solid forms, the solid is a new substance that was formed during a chemical reaction between the two liquids.

See the Original Project

SC073002

Some chemical reactions can be reversed.

See the Original Project

Frequency of selecting a misconception

Misconception
ID Number

Student Misconception

Grades
6–8
Grades
9–12

SCM070

A chemical reaction always happens when two substances are combined together (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

See the Original Project

SCM063

Chemical reactions occur between solids and liquids but not between solids and gases (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.).

See the Original Project

SCM062

A solid substance is always formed during a chemical reaction (DeBoer et al., 2008).

See the Original Project

SCM056

A chemical reaction always happens when two liquids are combined together (DeBoer et al., 2008).

See the Original Project

SCM040

Chemical reactions involve only the production of gas (Cavallo et al., 2003).

See the Original Project

SCM039

Chemical reactions involve liquids only (Cavallo et al., 2003).

See the Original Project

SCM038

Chemical reactions involve two reactants (Cavallo et al., 2003; Eilks et al., 2007).

See the Original Project

SCM037

All chemical reactions are inherently dangerous (Cavallo et al., 2003).

See the Original Project

SCM036

A chemical change is irreversible (Cavallo et al., 2003; Calik et al., 2005).

See the Original Project

SCM020

A chemical reaction occurs when a substance dissolves (Novak et al., 1991; BouJaoude, 1992; Abraham et al., 1994; Ahtee et al., 1998; Stavridou et al., 1998; Valanides, 2000; Eilks et al., 2007)

See the Original Project

SCM019

A chemical reaction occurs during a change of state (Hall, 1973; Novak et al., 1991; BouJaoude, 1992; Ahtee et al., 1998; Stavridou et al., 1998).

See the Original Project

SCM002

A chemical reaction must take place in a laboratory (Herrmann-Abell et al., 2009).

See the Original Project

Frequency of selecting a misconception was calculated by dividing the total number of times a misconception was chosen by the number of times it could have been chosen, averaged over the number of students answering the questions within this particular idea.