ACS Chem Club

Do you or anyone you know advise an ACS Chem Club? I have heard of it over the past few years, but I have been busy and didn’t want to add another thing to my plate. When I found out that there are no requirements of what or how much we have to do as a group, I decided that I could give it a try. I appreciate that ACS provides some great resources. You can find many ideas on the ACS web site.

National Chemistry Week

It is not too early to think about National Chemistry Week which is coming up October 20 - 26.  This year's theme is "Energy: Now and Forever".  Did you know there is a poetry contest and information about participating in community outreach activities on the ACS web site?  Visit

Electrolytic Dissolution of Copper Metal

Looking for an easy, hands-on experiment to use in your classroom at the beginning of the school year? In the June, 2013 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education, Isao Ikemoto and Kouichi Saitou describe a simple experiment to demonstrate the electrolytic dissolution of copper ions from a copper electrode. This experiment can be conducted using only items that are easily obtained around the home or in grocery stores.

Photoelectron Spectroscopy PES

Photoelectron Spectroscopy or PES is a topic included in the redesigned AP Chemistry curriculum. I have heard quite a bit of discussion surrounding this addition.  It has caused panic in some teachers because they never learned it themselves, have never taught it before and/or they have no materials to teach the topic.  I have been spending some time searching for a lesson plan for my own class

Holding Fire in the Palm of Your Hand

Some students of mine and I have published two papers in the Journal of Chemical Education that describe how stunt people use chemistry to safely set themselves ablaze while filming action movie scenes. The secret behind this stunt lies in the use of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) gels. To pull off this trick...