MHS Chemistry
The Activity Series (#3)
We have discussed already the general trend in the property of electronegativity. In this activity, we will investigate the relative attraction of various metals for electrons in solution. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  1. Visible solid metal has no charge.
  2. Metals in solution must be ions.
  3. A more active metal will replace a less active metal in solution.
  4. There was a time when Lance Armstrong had never ridden a bike.
MATERIALS (not all materials may be available, so check carefully)
Solutions Solid Metals
Mg2+ CuII Sn Cu
H+ ZnII Al Pb
Sr2+ AgI Zn Ag
NiII CoII Ca  
  1. Examine pairs of solid metal A in metal solution B.
  2. Take your time.
  3. Think before you act.
  4. Write down what you observe, so you can understand it next time.
  1. Organize your observations, so they are super-clear to the freshest Freshman.
  2. How can you predict what charge the metals' atoms form in solution?
  3. Arrange all the metals provided in order from least active to most active.
  4. Compare your results with other students.
  5. How did you arrive at your "Activity Series"?
  6. Define electronegativity.
  7. How does the property of electronegativity relate to the activity of a metal?
  8. Why do some of those solutions listed above (FeIII, CuII, ZnII, AgI, PbII, etc) have Roman numerals where you expected to see a charge?
Start out with a piece of zinc in copper solution, and a piece of copper in zinc solution. What do you observe? Which one is more active? How can you tell?
[Activity Series #3 score sheet][MHS Chemistry Page]