A Modeling Approach to Energy Storage and Transfer

In my previous blog post I described some problems I encountered when beginning my instruction on energy this year.  From the misconceptions fostered by the biology textbooks using the phrase “high-energy phosphate bond” to idea that energy comes in different forms, the Modeling community recognizes the challenges of teaching the energy concept and has developed a way of talking about energy designed to help students construct a consistent and cohesive model.

Bountiful answers from Brian

This month I spoke with Brian Brethauer who teaches chemistry and coaches Science Olympiad among other science activities on the west side if Michigan.  Here are his responses to the 4 questions.

Q1:  How do you define inquiry?  What does inquiry look like to you?

Chemical Riddle #2

A student of mine, Anthony Shepherd, and I worked together to develop a new chemical riddle.  How do you think we performed the experiment in the video below? 


I am honored for the invitation to write for ChemEd X and am looking forward to being part of this collaborative chemistry teaching community! I’m Shelly Belleau, a Chemistry and Physics teacher in Colorado.

Endothermic and Exothermic Activity


Endothermic and exothermic reactions and processes are a common topic in chemistry class. This activity provides examples that can be done with household materials.

Time required: 

20 minutes

Ice Cream in a Bag

ice cream ingredients

A quick google search will allow you to find many laboratory activities for making ice cream in chemistry class. Some of the links provide questions to incorporate into the activity. I have used several over the years and will share my modified version here.

Time required: 

45 minutes