Density "POGIL-Like" Activity

Although many students have been exposed to the concept of density before reaching my Chemistry class, I always start the year with this POGIL-like activity.

Time required: 

Approximately one hour including the debrief (I recommend holding a whole-class discussion for the summarizing questions that follow the What is density? activity and a selection of mathematical computation problems from the How can you calculate density? activity.)

Back to School... with Candy

Making plans for back to school? Don’t forget the candy! It doesn’t sound like something a nutritionist would recommend, but what about a chemistry educator?

Modeling Instruction Pedagogy


I am enrolled in a Modeling Instruction Workshop in Michigan. We have only four days left of the 15 scheduled days. I had planned to blog about the workshop every day, but I found that it was difficult for me to articulate my thoughts quickly enough to post daily.

Rainbows in a Glass Density Demonstration

One day during class I presented the disappearing rainbow demonstration and explained the chemistry behind it. After doing so, I had a student ask me if a particular bartending trick called “rainbow shots” was done in a manner similar to the way the disappearing rainbow demonstration is performed.

The Interface of Art and Science

Art and Science

Toward the end of the school year we inevitably have disruptions to our normal instructional day. On one day in May, our classes were shortened to only fifteen minutes to accommodate for a series of school wide exams. On this day, I decided to choose some of my favorite chemistry-themed YouTube videos and share them with my students.

Making the Grade


I just finished reading Norb Pienta’s editorial in the June 2014 edition of JCE. He hits on a touchy subject between college chemistry instructors and their students...the grade.

High School Chemistry Day in San Francisco 2014

The American Chemical Society will hold its 248th National Meeting in San Francisco, CA on August 10-14, 2014. More than 15000 scientists are expected to attend and over 7000 presentations are slated, comprising symposia that highlight a broad range of scientific advancement. The theme of the Fall meeting is Chemistry & Global Stewardship.