The Metabolic Marvel of Hibernating Bears

Millions of years of evolution has endowed brown (Ursus arctos) and black (Ursus americanus) bears with the enviable metabolic capacity to starve themselves for a long period of time and still survive. Truly, bears are chemist extraordinaires and their hibernation chemistry overall is arguably without equal in the mammalian world. Let's take an introductory look at what's going on.  

Measurement, Uncertainty, and Significant Figures 

As high school teachers, we know that understanding how measurement works is crucial for lab skills and for understanding significant figures. We think measurement should be an easy topic for students to learn; especially because we know that teachers begin working with students in elementary school to teach these skills. However, I, and many other teachers, have spent countless hours teaching and reteaching a seemingly simple skill.

Cognitive Load and Active Learning

A couple of days ago on Twitter, the ever-lasting debate between lecture and active learning reignited due to some talks at an Educational Research Conference held in Dublin. These talks stated direct guidance (which includes lecture) was superior in terms of student learning due its reduction of students’ cognitive load. The main citation used for this argument was an article by Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark published in 2006. So, let’s dive into what this article says.

On-line Chemistry Courses - Maybe?

Want to heat up a department meeting? Just propose that all courses have an on-line option and watch as some colleagues have strong opinions about it- be it on one side or the other. What overlooked component can be distilled from a normal in-person course into an online that could have a significant impact? Perhaps the face-to-face “live” interaction.

Flipped Classroom: A Framework for In-Class Activities

The flipped-classroom approach to education is undoubtedly popular, with consistent growth in the number of related books, conference sessions, and educator network memberships. Although active-learning may not be any more beneficial in a flipped classroom compared to a traditional classroom, it is clear that a flipped class can increase the frequency of active-learning opportunities.