A Concise Summary of Chemical Misconceptions

boiling and condensation of water demo

Beyond Appearances: Students’ Misconceptions about Basic Chemical Ideas on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s website has proven a wonderfully handy document to have around. The report is the work of Dr. Vanessa Kind of Durham University (formerly of The University of London) and briefly summarizes student misconceptions and possible pedagogical remedies in eleven different content areas.

Polymer Day: Outreach Experiments for High School Students: An ACS Authors' Choice article

The authors of the recent Journal of Chemical Education article, PolymerDay: Outreach Experiments for High School Students, offer a collection of interactive polymer activities designed to be part of an all-day outreach event for high school students. For teachers that might use the activities on separate occasions and/or as part of their curriculum, the authors recommend an accessible resource to support that work.

This is an ACS Authors' Choice article and is open access to all.

ACS Publications Editors' Choice articles

Every day, one new peer-reviewed research article from any ACS journal will be selected to be freely available and remain open access for all to read. These articles are selected based upon recommendations by editors of ACS Journals and made available as a service to the global research community. 


An Elemental Understanding of Isotopes

Isotope eggs

In January of 2017, Chad Hustings wrote a blog post, Isotopes, Nuts, Bolts and Eggs, about an activity some colleagues and I had shared in a workshop at BCCE in 2016. With encouragement from many ChemEd X readers that wanted to try the activity for themselves, I am sharing more details and a student handout.

Chad wrote: 

Time required: 

About 30-40 minutes for the activity. This depends on how many balances are available to share and how many different isotopes are made for a single element. We had 5 balances for 12 or 13 teams of two students. Students can work in groups of 3 as well.

A Comparison Between Teaching Chemistry in the United States and Internationally

Instructors View of Classroom

Whenever I’m asked where I live and what I do, I answer with “I’m a teacher overseas.” The immediate response from people is “English? Peace Corps?” I am a high school science teacher at the American School of Dubai. There is a misconception that teaching somewhere else in the world is drastically different than teaching right in your backyard, and it really isn’t. 

Literacy Stations in the Chemistry Classroom

Literacy Stations

I took a tip from the elementary school teachers and created literacy stations to help increase the amount of reading and writing in my classroom. Literacy centers support students by arming them with the tools to utilize when examining text documents, charts, graphs, pictures etc. to take the content and make it comprehensible. Here I will provide examples of literacy centers I utilize in my classroom.

That’s What Scientists Do!

Measurement Challenge

As I began to prepare my labs for this upcoming year, I decided to put a bit of a twist on a previous density of a block lab I had used in the past entitled the Measurement Challenge that is sold by Flinn Scientific. It can also be used to find the mass of a block given the materials density and requiring students to measure and calculate the blocks volume. My added twist resulted in great scientific discourse.