Cooking Under Pressure
Applying the Ideal Gas Law in the Kitchen
Borough of Manhattan Community College / City University of New York
Health Science / Nursing
Brookdale Community College
Biology, Plant Breeding and Genetics
The Clarksons are making dinner for friends and decide to try out their new pressure cooker. As students read the dialogue that ensues, they learn about how the boiling point of water is directly related to external pressure, apply the ideal gas law, and relate chemical reaction rates with temperatures in addition to learning about the conservation of energy. Designed for a non-majors’ general chemistry course, the case could be extended to other disciplines, including physics, nutrition, and microbiology.
- To stimulate students’ interest in chemistry.
- To reinforce chemistry concepts and scientific thinking skills.
- To enhance the concept of vapor pressure of water.
- To emphasize that the boiling points of water vary with external pressures.
- To demonstrate that chemical reaction rates increase at higher temperatures.
- To apply the ideal gas law to explain a real life scenario.
- To practice unit conversion skills.
- To create awareness of energy conservation in daily life.
KeywordsVapor pressure; external pressure; boiling point elevation; ideal gas law; chemical reaction rate; pressure cooker
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsDirected, Discussion
Subject HeadingsChemistry (General) | Food Science / Technology | Nutrition | Microbiology |
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.