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By combining two experiments for the reaction Zn + Cu2+ ⟶ Zn2+ + Cu: 1) the measurement of Ecell and 2) the calorimetric determination of reaction, it is possible for students to evaluate the free energy change and the enthalpy change. Then using the Gibbs-Helmholtz equation, the entropy change can be determined. The data is collected using a Vernier temperature probe and EMF measurements in sequential experiments.
Frank Gasparro, a native of Philadelphia, earned his BS in Chemistry from Villanova University (1966) and his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Princeton (1971). After 10 years of teaching at Wellesley, Princeton and Colgate in the 1970s, he joined the research staff at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and played an instrumental role in the development of a new photochemotherapy for cutaneous T cell lymphoma. In 1986 he was recruited for a research staff position at Yale where he served as the director of the photobiology lab until 2000. In was in 1988 that he moved to Hamden. As a resident he has served in several volunteer positions. Among these are Little League coach, Newhallville Neighborhood Liaison Chair, and he chaired the Town Energy Use and Climate Change Commission. In 2000 he changed careers when he accepted high school chemistry teaching positions first at Westhill HS in Stamford and then Cheshire HS (2001-2004). Since 2004 he has been teaching at Hamden Hall Country Day School where he pioneered the involvement of students in independent research projects. Several of these students have won major prizes at local science fairs and one even had two research papers published in an international research journal. In addition to teaching Honors and AP Chemistry, he is the Director of a Hamden Hall Signature Program called "Science, Innovation & Design" which encourages students to develop independent projects. Over his career, he has authored over 100 research papers and published 5 books.