Compound Interest

Have you ever been curious about the chemistry of a lemon? What about the chemical structures of adrenaline, dopamine, or serotonin? Would you like to share with your students the elements that make up their smartphone? Or what how about a beautiful “infographic” representing each of the families of the periodic table? Then Compound Interest at has you covered and then some.

Socratic Questioning (Whiteboarding Part II)

In my last article I described several different strategies you could use in your classroom to integrate the use of whiteboards. Whiteboarding can be a powerful tool for increasing student engagement when it is implemented well. The success of a whiteboarding activity greatly depends on how well the instructor focuses the student interaction and guides the discussion.

Reading Non-Fiction Within a Grade 10 Chemistry Class

As chemistry teachers, there are many ways we can relate our subject to the world around us. Linking with an effort to increase literacy at my school, I've started reading a non-fiction book with one of my chemistry classes titled, “The Case of the Frozen Addicts: Working at the Edge of the Mysteries of the Human Brain."


It's interesting to me how a word can define a class. The longer I teach, the more excited and quickly I can cover a concept. However, this pace does not necessarily fit well with my students, so we have a code word:  Traxoline (thanks to Judy Lanier).

Painting a Fair Picture of Science

“How Much Turmoil Does the Science Project Cause Families?” reads the tongue-in-cheek science-fair-style poster illustrating parent Susan Messina’s views on science fairs. Her materials list includes: at least 1 grudging parent, half-baked idea of very dubious merit, and procrastination.

Nail Bottle Demonstration in Slow Motion

The nail bottle demonstration is one that many of us have conducted in our classes. To perform this demonstration, 2 – 3 mL of ethanol is placed into a plastic bottle that has two nails punctured into opposite sides of the bottle. After stoppering the bottle, a Tesla coil is touched to one of the nails. A spark jumps from one nail to the other, which initiates the combustion of vaporized ethanol inside the bottle. We recently filmed this reaction with our high speed video camera.

ACS Publishes Safety Alert

Robert H. Hill, Jr., Ph.D., Chair, ACS Committee on Chemical Safety asked us to post the following alert about the Rainbow Demonstration. I hope chemistry teachers will share the alert with their networks.

“Dear Soap Boat 2.0…”

"Single shot" soap boat

A fan letter for a chemistry experiment? Well, yes. I read Tom Kuntzleman’s blog post “Soap Boat 2.0” over four months ago and immediately bookmarked it.