high school chemistry

LED lights and the Periodic Table

Every LED light has a "band gap". Electrons are pushed into an empty orbital which is negative and then the positive end of the circuit attracts the electrons. As they go down in energy through the band gap, they emit light. The larger the band gap, the more energy, the smaller the wavelength and the closer to the "blue" end of the spectrum. So, the key is to try to control the band gap and thus control the color of light. 

My First Experience Using Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) in the IB Chemistry Classroom

Whiteboard for C.E.R. Discussion

In a recent blog post, Ben Meacham shared his use of the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Framework. I have started using this approach for class discussion as well, and will share some ideas and thoughts about the process.

JCE 94.02 February 2017 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education February 2017 Cover

Fostering Creativity in Chemistry

The February 2017 online issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured include: surface chemistry; chemical identity thinking; conceptual understanding; communicating science to the general public; activities and labs linking chemistry and art; history and chemistry; early access to research; technology as instructional support; synthesis laboratories; from the archives: bottle chemistry.

Implementing the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning Framework in the Chemistry Classroom

Claims, Evidence & Reasoning example

For me, the first step toward teaching my students how to critically think about how they structured an argument or explanation was to implement the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) framework. While the premise behind CER isn’t anything new to the way science teachers already think, it provides an entirely different approach toward how students connect their experiences and previously learned content into something that is much more reflective of being scientifically literate.

Flinn Scientific and Beyond Benign Launch Partnership to Deliver Green Chemistry Learning Solutions to Science Educators

Beyond Benign, a national nonprofit, established in 2007 to equip educators, scientists, and citizens with the tools to teach and practice green chemistry to achieve a sustainable society, just announced a strategic partnership with Flinn Scientific.

Ionic Covalent Compounds and Card Sorts

Ionic Covalent Card sort

Card sorts are a great way to achieve a number of classroom objectives.  They can be used as a review activity or they can be done during the middle of a lesson as a type of formative assessment. Sorts can encourage students to work with other students or can even be used as a type of exit ticket. I decided to use the strategy about two thirds of the way through a unit on covalent and ionic compounds and lewis structures. I knew there were items we did not cover in the sort but I was curious to see how they would approach these unknown topics.  

Chemical Investigations of McCormick's Color From Nature Food Colors. Part 1: Sky Blue

Sky Blue dye

The chemistry of the Sky Blue dye found in McCormick's Color From Nature food colors is explored. This is part one of a three-part series in which the chemistry of McCormick's Color From Nature food colors is presented.