Have you heard, the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education is almost here!  I am looking forward to meeting with colleagues from all over!  If you haven't registered yet, there is still time.  Lots going on the first week of August on the campus of Grand Valley State University (my alma mater!).

JCE 91.07—July 2014 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education July 2014 Cover

Passion for and Dedication to Chemistry and Education The July 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/91/7. The July issue features a tribute to J. J. Lagowski, green chemistry principles, book recommendations for the summer, organic chemistry in action, computation chemistry experiments, resources for teaching fluorescence spectroscopy.


Physics teachers have AAPT, biology teachers have NABT, and starting this fall, chemistry teachers will have AACT. We are happy to announce that the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) will be accepting charter members starting on Aug. 4 at BCCE in Grand Rapids, Mich. But if you aren’t attending BCCE, you can join AACT by visiting teachchemistry.org on Aug. 4, and you’ll still have the status of charter member.

The Cautious Chemist Corner: Safety in the Classroom and Laboratory


Chemistry classroom accidents have been in the news too often recently. I hazard to suggest that there are smaller incidents that never make the news because there are luckily no serious injuries. We need to be vigilant in our safety concerns to protect our students and ourselves from any accidents and exposure to hazardous substances. We also need to be aware of theft concerns. Unfortunately, students may be looking for ingredients to experiment with explosives or to manufacture illicit drugs.

Cautious Chemist Corner #1


I was at a chemistry teacher workshop recently and we participated in a common Hess’s Law laboratory. Part of the procedure required us to measure about 2 grams of solid NaOH and add it to 100 mL of 0.5 M HCl. We also added 50 mL of 1 M NaOH solution to 50 mL of 0.5 M HCl solution. We then compared the energy change of both containers.

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?