Manhattan Beach Chemistry Tutors’ Take: The Struggle of Stoichiometry

April 3rd, 2016

The Struggle of Stoichiometry

We get it! This stuff is tricky. Our Manhattan Beach Chemistry Tutors have created a great outline to help assist you with all of your stoichiometry needs. Take your time and follow our step-by-step guide to solving a stoichiometry problem. Here we go!

Think of these problems as a recipe. If a cake recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of flour to make 1 cake, how many cups of sugar and flour do we need for 5 cakes? This is stoichiometry. The sugar and flour are our reactants and the cake is our product. Also- we need to measure sugar and flour in a universal unit in order to compare. We don’t measure them in weight because or number of particles, because these can vary based on the size of the sugar and flour particles. Instead, we measure them in something universally recognized and standardized: the cup. In stoichiometry, we use the universal unit called a mole (6.022 x 1023 atoms/particles). We use moles when comparing molecules.

Let’s try a problem!

  1. Write out your reaction. Be sure to pay close attention to your charges. Keep a polyatomic ion chart handy for this. Remember, cations come first, anions come second.
  2. Balance your equations. Save Oxygen for second to last and Hydrogen for last. This will save you a lot of time.
  3. Understand what the question is asking. Am I given grams? Am I given moles? Are they asking me to answer in moles, grams, or particles/molecules?
  4. Write the given amount under your ion/compound and draw an arrow to the ion/compound they want you to answer with.
  5. Set up your problem. Remember to use your mole-to-mole ratio. Those coefficients are there for a reason!
  6. Answer in the correct number of significant figures and box your answer.
  7.  Double-check your work. Did you answer the original question?

 

Great job! You’re a stoichiometry master. If you’re still confused, come see one of our Manhattan Beach Chemistry tutors today!

El Segundo Chemistry Tutors Love Bond(s)

November 22nd, 2015

The name’s bond, ionic bond.

El Segundo Chemistry tutors-bond

In the spirit of the latest 007 movie, Study Hut wants to talk about bonds. El Segundo Chemistry tutors have been talking bonds a lot lately with their chemistry students. In chemistry, there are two main types of bonds that you will run into (none of them named James!) and they are very different!

Covalent bonds

  1. Share the desired electron(s)-This means that the electron spends its time in the shells of both atoms in the bond
El Segundo Chemistry tutors - covalent bond; http://www.docsity.com/en/news/education-2/types-chemical-bonding-presented-gifs/

Click image for animation.

  1. This sharing can be equal (nonpolar)….

El Segundo Chemistry Tutors - nonpolar

  1. or unequal (polar)…
    El Segundo Chemistry Tutors - polar

    Click image for animation.

 

If one atom has a stronger electronegativity (like attractiveness to an electron) then the shared electron will spend more time with that atom than the other, giving it a slightly negative charge and leaving the other one with a slightly positive charge.

  1. Occur between two nonmetals

Ionic bonds

  1. Steal the desired electron(s)-In this type of bond, the electron is not passed back and forth like a tennis ball. In this type of bond, one atom plucks the electron right out of the other atom’s valence shell and takes it for itself. Now one atom has an extra electron (now it has more electrons than protons so it has a NEGATIVE charge) and the other atom is short an electron (now it has less electrons than protons so it has a POSITIVE charge). Well these two differently charged atoms are attracted to each other and so they hang out together.

El Segundo Chemistry Tutors - ionic

  1. Occur between a nonmetal and a metal.
    This is because nonmetals have almost full valence shells (their p shell’s are so close to full!!) and metals have almost empty valence shells, so metals gladly give their valence electrons to the desperate nonmetals giving everyone an even 8 valence electrons.

For more on bonds and other chemistry help, come on in to El Segundo Study Hut right behind Starbucks. We’ve got plenty of El Segundo Chemistry tutors who would love to translate chemistry into a language that makes sense to you. Our one-on-one sessions guarantee that you will get the support you need to prepare for that test, bring up that grade, and pass that class!

Making the Grade

May 24th, 2015

Sometimes students have teachers who simply do not teach in a way that is compatible with their learning style, which can keep them from making the grade they deserve. In cases like these, it is very beneficial to have regular tutoring appointments with someone who can cater specifically to the way that your child learns. At Study Hut, our tutors truly care about and get to know their students, so they are aware of what methods of teaching will and will not work with them.

Making the Grade

Riley began coming to Study Hut because she was having trouble in her Chemistry and Geometry classes. Her Chemistry teacher was terrible at explaining difficult concepts and did not go over any practice problems with the class. They were just expected to go home and know how to do the homework. She worked with her tutor Charlsey on actually learning the material and putting it into practice on her homework. Actually understanding the content helped Riley complete her labs more easily and started making the grade on her tests. Charlsey observed that Riley did not really absorb the content without actually doing it in problems, so that was why she had been having trouble in Chemistry.

Geometry was the same way. Together, they went through which pieces of information Riley should plug in to the formulas she had been given so that she could get the correct answer. Reviewing topics from earlier in the year also helped her with trigonometry and setting up similar triangles.

Chemistry Tutoring

March 5th, 2015

Chemistry can be very difficult. Students have so many things to memorize: rules for naming compounds, charges for different elements on the periodic table, whether or not a solute and solvent will form a precipitate. All this information can quickly become overwhelming for students, especially as the year progresses and concepts build upon one another. It is helpful for students to go over chemistry outside of class with a tutor to review concepts the teacher may not have explained thoroughly enough.

Chemistry tutoring is especially helpful when covering more difficult and complex topics. Jason worked with his student, who had fallen behind in chemistry class and was struggling to catch up. They started with the basics: families in the periodic table, elemental charges, ionic vs. covalent bonds. These building blocks helped the student begin to understand the higher-level concepts. It was no longer a mystery why certain compounds formed and other elements could not combine, or why an anion was formed instead of a cation. Now that what elements came together to form compounds was no longer a mystery, it was time to move on to nomenclature. Together, Jason and his student went through all the rules for naming different kinds of compounds. There are different rules for ionic and covalent compounds. They also reviewed how to tell which version of certain metals formed, and how to tell when to use an –ic or –ous ending. All the extra review really helped and Jason’s student was able to bring his grade up twenty percent!

Buckle down and prep for Finals in advance

November 26th, 2012

The four weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter holiday break can be the toughest lap of the academic race for many students. Everyone loves to buckle down and cram for the “last lap” before Finals in January, but this “second-to-last lap” in December is brutal. With tons of distractions, from family coming into town, holiday shopping, and making sure to enjoy the holiday spirit, it comes as no surprise that many students have a tough time focusing on their tests and assignments.

But this is not the time to be distracted. In fact, this is the most crucial season of all. These four weeks are a perfect time for teachers to play catch up. Oftentimes, teachers will try to cram in two full chapters or units during this brief period, and the effects on students’ grades can be tremendously impactful. Some students will be distracted and choose to focus time and energy on interests other than school. These students will pay the price come January, and many grades will be far too low going into the break to be brought up. Other students will realize the incredible opportunity in front of them. They will buckle down, hit the books, and earn excellent grades on the tests, quizzes, and assignments offered.

For math classes, including geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus, the methods and concepts discussed this month will probably be the toughest content you will see on your first semester Final Exam. Keep this in mind, even if you are feeling overwhelmed by the material. If you can master these tough concepts now by studying in advance and working with your tutor, your holiday break will be significantly less stressful, and your Finals preparation in January will be a much easier process. This holds true for other classes too, including history, Spanish, English, biology, chemistry, physics, and even your elective classes.

Study Hut Foundation getting going

November 6th, 2012

Study Hut Tutoring and our entire team are ecstatic to announce that the Study Hut Foundation has officially opened its first office. For those of you unfamiliar with the Study Hut Foundation, it is the non-profit arm of Study Hut. Our mission is simple: to provide additional educational opportunities to underprivileged students.

We signed the lease on Friday, and we will begin getting the office ready for studying and tutoring by January 1st. This process will include everything from buying tables and chairs, to sharpening pencils and filling the candy bins….hehe….The office is located in Lomita (very close to Harbor City as well) and is located on Narbonne Avenue, right across from the public library. We will be serving students from many neighboring cities, but the convenience factor is definitely there for Narbonne High School students, so we will be working closely with counselors, teachers, and administrators. We are seeking students who need the help most, and also those who are most eager to use the assistance in a positive way.

The first goal of the Study Hut Foundation is to bring some of the same college preparatory services that we provide our current Study Hut students to less fortunate students in the local area. This will benefit the entire community, and will provide additional opportunity to local students who show the potential and desire to achieve. We will provide scholarships for subject tutoring in math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, precalc, etc.), science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), English, writing, reading comprehension, history (European history and U.S. history), government, economics, psychology, Spanish, French, and more. Additionally, we will offer SAT prep, ACT prep, and other test prep services, all free of cost.

Our team will consist of current tutors, as well as volunteers from local high schools and universities. We will specialize by subject, and we aim to provide the best service possible at the best possible price (free)!
For those of you interested, we will be adding a page for the Study Hut Foundation to our website shortly, and there will also be opportunities for donations and support in the near future. Stay tuned!

Time for our team to take off the party hats and roll up their sleeves. The Foundation is here!

Summer Study Skills

August 1st, 2012

It’s summer time! The much anticipated vacation time, where school becomes a distant memory, and the beach and the sun the relevant priority! While vacation time is extremely important in rejuvenating the academic soul, a total abandonment of study and study skill practice can prove harmful when the first day of school arrives. Over the summer, it is highly recommended that a basic study routine be established to keep up the academic brain. If you know you have a difficult subject encroaching the following school year such as chemistry or physics, setting a designated time aside each day to familiarize yourself with the content before class actually begins can give you a head start when school begins. Here at Study Hut we can help you maintain and continue developing your study skills through individual one on one sessions where one of our expert tutors can help design an introductory approach to any academic subject that will be taken the following school year. Summer time is also an excellent time to brush up on literacy skills, especially for those in the younger academic grades. Regular scheduled reading, as well as vocabulary cards, created to memorize and understand newly introduced Summer relaxation is important in maintaining a healthy balance in the pursuit of rigorous academic endeavors, however, it’s important to always keep the study mindset sharp!

El Segundo Tutoring spreads its Wings

April 6th, 2012

Today, two bright-eyed and bushy tailed owners, actually, we had some scruffy scraggles left on the face from Spring Breaking, and it was pretty early at 6am so we weren’t too bright eyed, embarked on a journey to have breakfast. Our Destination: the Hacienda Hotel. Our reason: to join the elite do-gooders of El Segundo for their 45th annual Mayor’s Breakfast. 100% of the proceeds will be going to benefit the El Segundo Teen Center and the El Segundo Ed foundation. The El Segundo Rotary Club makes this all possible, among others. It was a quite a treat if I dont say so myself. I had pancakes, bacon, hashbrown cakes with lox, and coffee, with chocolate creamer. It was heart-stopping. We heard a motivational speaker, and listening to him made we almost want to put down my fork and head to the gym. Apart from the food, we met some wonderful individuals. We met the heads of the local churches and school board, and they were thrilled to meet some fellow educators who were also passionate about El Segundo middle school tutors. They quickly acknowledged that tutoring in El Segundo was something that was recognized as fruitful and important. El Segundo high school students need tutoring in chemistry, biology, algebra, geometry and specific training in preparation for the SAT tests. Moms and dads in El Segundo were encouraged to know that Study Hut Tutoring provides a reliable and local tutoring service to the students at both El Segundo Middle School and El Segundo High School. Parents were eager to send their students to Study Hut tutoring for chemistry tutoring because they know how tough that class is, and how difficult the college application process can be with a low mark in that class.

PV AVID Finals tutoring

January 11th, 2012

Study Hut tutors could not be more excited for the big Finals push. We have students from AVID coming in for private tutoring all week, but we also have a huge event scheduled for Saturday. As in years past, we will be hosting an all day tutoring and study session on campus at Palos Verdes High School. We will have access to multiple different classrooms, and tutors will get to go into different rooms and help students with the specific subjects they need most help with.

This year, there will undoubtedly be math tutoring, science tutoring (including biology tutoring and chemistry tutoring), history tutoring, from World History and EHAP to U.S. History, Government, and Economics tutoring. Math tutoring will include algebra tutoring, geometry tutoring, algebra 2 tutoring, pre-calculus tutoring, trigonometry tutoring, and maybe even some calculus and FTS tutoring.

We will also, of course, have English tutoring, writing tutoring for students with an upcoming final paper, Spanish tutoring (all levels), and probably a few other subjects as well.

The event is free (and required!) for all AVID students, and speaking from past experience, it is an extremely productive event for all students involved. The teachers always come to support, supervise, and offer their knowledge as well.

And best of all, we are getting El Taco Man ordered, so he will be showing up with his cart, and all the tacos any young man or woman can eat. Does it get any better than this? I think not. See you on Saturday.

AP Biology, AP Phyisics and Chemistry

October 23rd, 2011

The sciences can be some of the most difficult classes in high school. From basic chemistry, to AP Bio and AP Physics, students often struggle with understanding the facts and concepts taught in classes, and using them to ace their tests. There are some serious science nerds, including myself, here at the Study Hut ready to help you flourish and learn in these difficult, but very important classes. But, for effective tutoring, the sciences are dealt with in a slightly different manner than tutoring math or history.

Classes such as math are learned through repetition of problems, usually through homework. The concepts, although important, usually take a back seat to the problems themselves. To get tutored in math, you can simply show up and do your homework with a tutor, learn the material, and ace your test. But studying for the sciences are much different. The sciences, especially biology, are much more conceptual, than problem based, and concepts take longer to effectively teach than doing problems. If you are struggling in a science class, it can more often than not be pointed to a shaky understanding of the broad concepts which connect all the facts and anecdotes learned in class. So this presents a unique challenge to tutors; It is almost impossible to effectively teach the material if a student comes in expecting to learn a whole chapter’s worth of material in an hour. To get the best help possible, students should read the text, go over their notes, attempt problems, and then come to tutoring in order to clarify and solidify the shakier concepts.

So if you are struggling in a science course, study ahead of time, know your weaknesses, and then come to the Study Hut as often as needed to stay on top of the material.