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? 

Introduction

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

candy

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

Camp Lessons

Camp Pic

I attended 5th grade camp with my son, Stevie, this week. Camp Miniwanca is a beautiful property between the vastness of Lake Michigan and a much smaller inland Stony Lake. The program is based upon the "experiential learning cycle". Small groups of campers work through a series of challenges. The counselors and chaperones allow the children to struggle, disagree and fail. Of course, success is congratulated and enjoyed. Children choose their own goals for individual challenges, so they have an opportunity to strive for their "best self" and meeting or exceeding whatever goal they have made is celebrated. Children were given many team and individual responsibilities. Every part of the day at camp had a purpose. Stevie is the youngest of my children. I have chaperoned several camps before and I attended a few as a child myself and one as an adult participant. This one was by far the best run camp I have attended. Many camps give lip service to experiential learning, but the thing that I observed at Camp Miniwanca that impressed me was there attentiveness to the entire process of the experiential learning cycle.