Teaching Chemistry With a Whole New "App"titude. Intro Blog 1.0


Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Doug Ragan and I have been a high school chemistry teacher for fourteen years.  Three years ago, I was approached by my high school principal and the conversation went like this,

Principal:  "You are one lucky guy."

Me:  "Really, why?"

Trend Setter Lab

Trendsetter Lab

Students will proceed through a pre-lab engagement activity, organize element cards based on similarities & trends, discuss trends with the class and then produce a periodic table that includes the trends discussed within the lab. The teacher will check for student understanding at specific points as groups work together.

Time required: 

Two 60 minute class periods for procedure. You may wish to include more time for discussion. The assessment portion can be done as homework.

Periodic Table Project

Periodic Table of Legos

Students choose a topic and select items to incorporate into a periodic talbe. Students explore trends related to their own topic and relate to the trends on the actual Periodic Table of Elements.

Time required: 

I provide my students 1 and 1/2 weeks to complete this project. Most students do not need this much time. I provide the extra time for those students who do not have adquate internet/computer access.

Adding Inquiry to Atomic Theory


Having some experience in using and creating inquiry activities, I am getting questions from teachers looking for ways to add inquiry to their curriculum. My first tip is to take baby steps. I will continue to blog about ideas to help outline some of those steps. First, I am sharing some inquiry ideas from the last unit I taught in my high school general chemistry course along with providing some ideas for using the resources provided with a subscription to ChemEdX.