New Chemistry Simulations Here to Help Build Student Confidence and Competence

Ginelle Testa

From equations of chemical reactions to principles of molecular structures, complex concepts in chemistry can make students feel anxious and uncertain. As an educator, it can be challenging to bring chemistry subject matter to life and get students both excited about science and ready to apply their knowledge in and out of the lab.

That’s where Labster comes in, helping to increase student confidence and mastery with our latest set of new chemistry simulations and practice activity. Our new Classifying and Balancing Chemical Reactions unit provides critical new content for students and faculty in key (but difficult) subjects for introductory-level chemistry courses.

Failing to overcome hurdles like understanding complex concepts in early courses—often called foundational or gateway courses—can often be a blocker for an entire STEM career. This provided Labster with the motivation to work on a new suite of digital experiences to empower students and educators alike.

Labster's new Chemistry unit, Classifying and Balancing Chemical Reactions, includes simulations that are more concise and engaging than ever, along with a Practice Activity, a brand-new content type that allows students to practice their skills at balancing equations and recognizing equations, an important foundational concept to prepare them to tackle more complex topics like stoichiometry.

lab coat in a science virtual lab

New Chemistry Content

The first unit in Labster’s new and expanded Chemistry Gateway course package will

be Classifying & Balancing Chemical Reactions. We’ll be delivering content as a comprehensive unit, creating a clear and holistic learning journey that you can plug right into your entry-level university (or advanced high school) chemistry courses.

You’ll also notice an updated look and feel to the new content as we’ve undertaken a fresh new design for our virtual lab. We hope you love the new look and feel as much as we do!

purple smoke in a chemistry virtual lab


The new simulations are more tailored to the needs of today’s students, who often struggle with anxiety, lack of confidence, and low preparedness for science courses. The simulations are bite-sized to meet student’s attention spans where they are, averaging 15 minutes.

Here are the four new simulations:

  • Synthesis Reactions: Unraveling Mysteries in Environmental Chemistry
  • Decomposition Reactions: Discover the Secrets of Roman Concrete
  • Single Replacement Reactions: Investigate Seawater Corrosion of Aluminum
  • Formulas and Equation Balancing: Save the Chemistry Lab!

Practice Activity

Our new ‘Practice Activity’ is called Balancing Equations: Mastering the Process, where students master the art of balancing polyatomic ion equations! They’ll join a captivating mission to unravel the secrets of chemical harmony. 

There will be a tutorial and three subsequent levels. Each level becomes progressively more challenging, as hints and supports from the Labster platform are gradually withdrawn and the student becomes more competent. Students must reach 80% accuracy on each level to unlock the next level. By the time they reach level three, they are demonstrating proficiency in balancing equations. 

Ashley Buitenwerf, Education Strategist at Labster, shared: “We wanted to create a safe space where students could repeatedly practice, get immediate feedback and improve - all without affecting their grades. With Labster, they have the space and guidance to figure it out without the pressure of the grade. We often learn best from our failures, and by removing this pressure, students can build the skill unhindered by anxiety or stress.”

This activity can be used at any stage of the unit, allowing students to assess their own skill level and see their progress.

chemistry practice unit

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to use this new chemistry unit, which includes simulations and a practice activity? 

Each resource has been crafted to build competence and confidence in chemistry, paving the way for students to experience success in chemistry and further STEM pursuits. Let's make education a low-anxiety and curiosity-led learning experience that students look forward to, one reaction at a time.

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