curriculum

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.

Synergistic Inquiry

Some research indicates that it is not always beneficial for students to work entirely on their own as they conduct inquiry-based investigations. This article explores a method of inquiry learning in which teachers and students work together to envision, conduct, and analyze experiments.

Peer Editing

One aspect of Argument Driven Inquiry that has not been discussed here is the peer editing piece. I have succesfully tried it out with my own students.

 

Take Home Labs

Several teachers I know have had circumstances present themselves in which they may not always be able to provide lab experiences in a traditional lab setting. They still want to provide students with rigorous problem solving situations that require students to use the scientific method. Could rigorous take home labs possibly be the answer?

3-Dimensional Assessments and Helping Students Develop the Necessary Skills

Recent efforts have recognized the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards as the most current research regarding what we know about teaching and learning of science, and have suggested that 3-dimensional (3D) instruction should guide science instruction at not only the K-12 level, but also at the college level.

Reviewing the Periodic Table Using Mystery Puzzles

This five puzzle mystery aligns with my chemistry curriculum after instruction on the properties of elements and electron configurations. I use this mystery as a review to prepare for assessments over the properties of elements, symbols on the periodic table and the difference between groups and periods. Also incorporated within the puzzles are basic trends such as the number of subatomic particles, mass number, melting point, and other characteristics of specific elements.

JCE 95.09 September 2018 Issue Highlights

The September 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: reticular chemistry; laboratory research experience for students; historical perspective; chemistry and the environment; laboratories using color to understand chemistry; electrochemistry laboratories; DIY instrumentation; organic semiconductors; orbitals; computer-based learning and computational chemistry; from the archives: paper chromatography.

Two Simple and Cheap Illustrations of Phase Equilibrium and Vapor Pressure

A favorite demonstration is to boil water by lowering the pressure in a bell jar using a vacuum pump. Unfortunately, purchasing a bell jar, vacuum plate, and vacuum pump can run upwards of $1,000 which poses a hardship for many teachers. Here are two simple and inexpensive demonstrations of phase equilibrium and vapor pressure.