I attended 5th grade camp with my son, Stevie, this week. Camp Miniwanca is a beautiful property between the vastness of Lake Michigan and a much smaller inland Stony Lake. The program is based upon the "experiential learning cycle". Small groups of campers work through a series of challenges. The counselors and chaperones allow the children to struggle, disagree and fail. Of course, success is congratulated and enjoyed. Children choose their own goals for individual challenges, so they have an opportunity to strive for their "best self" and meeting or exceeding whatever goal they have made is celebrated. Children were given many team and individual responsibilities. Every part of the day at camp had a purpose. Stevie is the youngest of my children. I have chaperoned several camps before and I attended a few as a child myself and one as an adult participant. This one was by far the best run camp I have attended. Many camps give lip service to experiential learning, but the thing that I observed at Camp Miniwanca that impressed me was there attentiveness to the entire process of the experiential learning cycle.
In this post I'll describe how I use an iPad App, Educreations, to interact with my students in a few different scenarios. First, I use it to answer questions sent to me by email. Second, I use it to create simple help videos for students relating to our work.
Did you know that Pyrex glassware used in chemistry labs is different than Pyrex glassware used in kitchens? Pyrex glass used in chemistry experiments is made of borosilicate glass, whereas the Pyrex used when baking is made of soda lime glass.
Have you ever been curious about the chemistry of a lemon? What about the chemical structures of adrenaline, dopamine, or serotonin? Would you like to share with your students the elements that make up their smartphone? Or what how about a beautiful “infographic” representing each of the families of the periodic table? Then Compound Interest at www.compoundchem.com has you covered and then some.
It's interesting to me how a word can define a class. The longer I teach, the more excited and quickly I can cover a concept. However, this pace does not necessarily fit well with my students, so we have a code word: Traxoline (thanks to Judy Lanier).
I recently spoke with a chemist from industry that said that if she admits to being a chemist, it is a serious conversation ender. I can relate! I know many of you can to. My colleague, Greg Rushton, shared a similar sentiment in an article introducing himself to the JCE community.
ACS is offering an upcoming webinar highlighting safety called "Tales, Investigations, and Lessons Learned". The role of the US Chemical Safety Board will be defined. Root cause investigations of chemical accidents will be reviewed. Tips on how to prevent chemical accidents will be reviewed.
The Journal of Chemical Education is providing open access to the January 2014 issue. If you don't already have a subscriptiion, this is an excellent opportunity to check out what they have to offer. The new American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) is highlighted in several articles within the January issue.
By way of introducing myself, I'd like to respond to Deanna Cullen's blog post about social media here on ChemEd X with some ideas of my own. The reason I'm here is that Deanna found me through following one of the chemistry-related Twitter chats and invited me to join ChemEd X as a contributor. I currently teach IBDP Chemistry at the American International School of Bucharest. Since my early days as a teacher, I have utilized technology throughout my instruction. I also incorporate some ideas from the modeling chemistry movement to help my students understand chemistry at the particle level. I'm hoping to share some ideas that will inspire you to try new things, and I'm also expecting to learn a lot from all of you that interact with us here at ChemEd X.