Become a ChemEd X Contributor during BCCE 2014

BCCE 2014

Will you be attending BCCE 2014? There is still time to register! This is one of the best opportunities for high school chemistry teacher professional development. Grand Valley State University BCCE organizers have worked to make this year’s BCCE an affordable and valuable experience for high school level teachers. High school teachers may register at the reduced rate of $210 ($350 for regular attendees). If you are attending, I hope you will consider attending our ChemEd X Workshop. We will provide training to those interested in contributing their ideas with our community of educators. See the workshop abstract below. I hope to see you in August!

Floating Squares

floating squares

I was looking for a new demonstration to initiate a discussion about polarity and related properties to use as part of an exam review. I found a video at ChemEd X (this is part of a ChemEd X subscription). It is entitled “Floating Squares – Hexane and Water” (see note below). I have placed both solutions together before, but I had not added the squares. The demonstration fulfilled my needs. I could have used the original video and muted it if I had not had hexane to demonstrate with.

Seeing Is Not Believing

“It sort of started to look kind of like a very pale blue.” A friend who teaches at the middle school level told me about a science experiment he’d done with his students. The procedure suggested to students that a particular solution would turn blue, but also asked them to write down what they saw happen. The thing was, it wasn’t actually designed to turn blue.

Reflections on a (Virtual) Guest Speaker Visit to my Chemistry Class

I've mentioned previously that my current grade 10 class is reading "The Case of the Frozen Addicts" together. As my students starting writing their blogs to respond to the reading, I saw quite a few questions that I couldn't answer. But I didn't want to leave the questions there with no response, so I went to Twitter to find scientists to join my class as a guest speaker.

Solution to the M&M Mystery?

Last year I wrote about a very simple experiment can be done using water, a plate and M&M’s candies.  The experiment can be seen in the video below:

American Association of Chemistry Teachers

I have been a member of the American Association for Physics Teachers (AAPT) since I began teaching in 2010. Each summer I attend the AAPT national meeting and give a short talk or poster presentation about some form of research that I conducted in my classroom that year.

Articles from twitter

In reference to the recent posting by Deanna Cullen and the list of where to find articles such as

How do you teach "entropy" to high school students?

I was recently drawn to an article published ASAP in JCE entitled Application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics To Explain the Working of Toys. Erick Castellon wrote the article highlighting the use of three toys that are used to help students develop an understanding of the second law of thermodynamics and entropy by having them observe the working of the toys and the energy transfers that occur while playing with them. I already had two of the toys, the radiometer and the drinking bird. I ordered the stirling engine from the link provided in the supporting information. As I waited for the stirling engine to arrive from Japan (which was only a few days) I attempted to write an activity to guide my students to conceptual understanding as they worked with the toys.