Expo Neon Markers

As the trimester comes to an end, I have the chance to reflect with my chemistry students and ask them about course likes and dislikes.  A major "like" that came out was the use of the Expo brand neon markers.  I had heard about their use from Brian Bennett @bennettscience and how well they show up on the black lab tables.  The markers can be found at Amazon,http://amzn.to/1doSHeH, Officemax, Staples, or practically anywhere that expo markers are sold.  The package comes with five different colors and range in price from $5.00 to slightly over $10.00.  Because of the cost, I do use them sparingly because they will run out quickly if used often.   

    Not quite sure what it is about them, but my students are always eager to use them and love writing and drawing on the tables.  We have used them to show the graphing trends for gas laws, to draw pictures simulating different types of reactions, and for solving multiple stoichiometry problems.  I absolutely love them for test review.  When reviewing math problems for a test, I set out different problems on each of my eight lab tables. Students solve them using the markers. They show all their calculations on the table and then they use this visual representation of their work to describe their process for solving the problem to the rest of the class. 

   Once the students are done, the other students can take pictures of each of the examples. Some cleaner and a little elbow grease prepare the tables for the next class.  I hope your students enjoy them as much as mine do. 

Join the conversation.

Comments 4

Lowell Thomson's picture
Lowell Thomson | Sun, 11/24/2013 - 13:55

I've used the neon markers after seeing a post by Doug on my Twitter Feed. The students definitely like them, and they get involved in talking about the chemistry. One technique I use is to rotate who starts with the marker for each new problem. This ensures that all students participate at some point. The quick feedback I can provide is very helpful and seems to benefit student learning.

Doug has his students take pictures, which is a great idea. I have taken my own pictures and posted them to a shared SkyDrive folder for students to access.

Deanna Cullen's picture
Deanna Cullen | Tue, 11/26/2013 - 15:47

I ordered mine from Amazon.com after I learned about them from Doug. I tried them out with my students yesterday for the first time. It was a nice change up. My students were thrilled to write on the tables. I felt like I tricked them into washing the tables! AND...It was great to hear them talking about chemistry and how to solve stoichiometry problems. I used Doug's advice and assigned each table their own problem. After I checked them (and helped students adjust incorrect answers) I allowed students to go around the room to check the rest of their assignment.

I appreciate the idea to rotate the marker. Great idea.


Deanna Cullen's picture
Deanna Cullen | Sat, 09/01/2018 - 13:22

My students sometimes used whiteboard spray made by Expo, but I often provided them with a kitchen counter type cleaner containing bleach. The marker comes off easily if it is done by the end of class. A couple of times, my ACS ChemClub members would draw pictures on the desks after school and when I found their messages the next day, it took a little extra scrubbing, but I have to say that the ink still came off pretty easily with the Expo spray.