Blogs

  Why is Chemistry so Difficult?

One reason so many students find chemistry difficult is the abstract nature of the concepts. Research based on the constructivist model of learning has shown that as an educator teaches, the learner makes meaning of the content by drawing from their background knowledge, attitude, abilities and everyday experience and this often results in a different construct than that of the teacher.

The Chemical Laser Show

Chemistry and lasers can be used to create a demonstration that includes several colors and flashing lights. This demonstration connects to topics in quantum chemistry and phase changes.

Metabolic Marvels of Bear Hibernation- Part 2

The post-Thanksgiving excessive calorie-consumption 'blues' have arrived. How is it possible to eat so much? For a bear, it's easy. Easy as pie. Bears are champion eaters, spending about half the year eating non-stop in preparation for winter's foodless landscape. How can this calorie consumption observation about the bear world be used to teach certain chemistry concepts routinely covered? This post includes discussion and two classroom activities about the following common general chemistry topics/concepts- thermochemistry, unit conversions, and interpretation of numerical data. Enjoy...

Chemical Kinetics with a Smartphone

This experiment in chemical kinetics can be conducted using materials as simple as a smartphone, hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate solution, and blue food dye! The experiment is useful when discussing the order of rate laws with respect to reactants.

Flipped Classroom: Advantages and Challenges

The flipped classroom of today looks vastly different from its initial form. Originally, class time was primarily used to complete homework assignments; however, more effective active learning practices tend to dominate class time in modern applications of the model. Although the flipped classroom has improved over the years, several challenges persist.