Ben Meacham's blog

Filling the Void: Options for Authentic Investigations Online

With the school year quickly approaching, science teachers will at some point need to decide the role of laboratory investigation within their new learning environment. To help this decision-making process, the author focuses on two available options that he believes have the greatest potential for offering a legitimate approach toward authentic investigations in a digital environment.

Why Do You Make Us Draw so Many Particle Diagrams?

Living at the macroscopic level, it’s no surprise that understanding and effectively communicating chemistry concepts can often be a challenging endeavor. Attempting to rationalize our observations through particle-level interpretations requires us to think in less intuitive ways that often create a cognitive barrier for our students. And for good reason.

Seeing Chemistry in a Different Light—FLIR Thermal Cameras in the Classroom

Before trying to use a piece of equipment, it’s worthwhile to have a basic understanding of how it works. To put it simply, FLIR cameras primarily deal with the infrared part of the EMR spectrum. The camera detects infrared energy and converts it into an electrical signal, which is then processed to produce a thermal image on a video monitor. 

Gas Laws and Deflategate

If you are looking for ideas to create an authentic opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of gas laws while integrating some of the most important science practices, then this activity may fit your needs.

Boltzmann Bucks—Helping Students Conceptualize Entropy

If you are looking to go beyond using traditional, arguably misleading, definitions of entropy involving “disorder” and “messy bedroom” analogies, the Boltzmann Bucks game fits the bill. The game, pulled from a Journal of Chemical Education article, provides a wonderful opportunity for students to more accurately conceptualize entropy.