My local chapter of the American Chemical Society sponsors an annual event at a local mall called “Chemistry at the Mall”. The event is in celebration of National Chemistry Week. This year’s theme is “The Sweet Side of Chemistry – Candy”. I advise an ACS ChemClub and we hosted a table at “Chemistry at the Mall”. Ten student members worked shifts from 11am – 4pm. This was a great way to get involved with my local chapter and meet some other members. My students had a great time providing outreach and introducing young children to chemistry.
I recently spoke by email with Bob Worley as he prepared an article, But Surely That’s Banned, sharing some thoughts on chemical safety for teachers from his UK perspective. Part of the discussion revolved around our shared concern for using methanol for demonstrations. The Fire Tornado demonstration, that was part of the September 2014 Nevada museum incident, can easily be found in written form and video in a quick Google search.
Another chemistry demonstration accident has happened. This one was at a museum in Nevada. In preliminary reports, it looks as if several children were injured. One child was held overnight in the hospital.
I am preparing to teach a "blended" chemistry course this fall and I admit that I am a little nervous. Students will be expected to access some of the course material outside of class. It will be very important that students preview materials and complete assignments.
ACS San Francisco High School Day, August 10, 2014
Resources for greening up the chemistry classroom:
Greg Rushton and I presented in the George Hague Memorial AP/IB Chemistry Symposium at the 2014 BCCE conference in Michigan. We are excited to highlight the first SPECIAL ISSUE of the Journal of Education covering AP Chemistry. Given the new AP Curriculum, the time was right to put out a call for papers last year asking stake holders to weigh in on the topic. We are happy with the well rounded response and hope you will take a look at the issue. Most of the articles are already live on the JCE Web site. We are interested in your comments and also encourage suggestions of topics for future Special Issues that will be of interest specifically for the high school audience.
Chemistry classroom accidents have been in the news too often recently. I hazard to suggest that there are smaller incidents that never make the news because there are luckily no serious injuries. We need to be vigilant in our safety concerns to protect our students and ourselves from any accidents and exposure to hazardous substances. We also need to be aware of theft concerns. Unfortunately, students may be looking for ingredients to experiment with explosives or to manufacture illicit drugs.
I am enrolled in a Modeling Instruction Workshop in Michigan. We have only four days left of the 15 scheduled days. I had planned to blog about the workshop every day, but I found that it was difficult for me to articulate my thoughts quickly enough to post daily.