JCE 95.06 June 2018 Issue Highlights

The June 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: investigating nanoscopic structures, innovative curriculum, inquiry-based investigations, using games to teach, outreach on climate change and research ethics, instrumental analysis, organic chemistry laboratory experiments, scientific data analysis, chemical education research, from the archives: food dyes.

Determination of Citric Acid in Candies

Looking to change up your titration lab? Citric acid is very common in candy and other foods. Students will be engaged in using titration to find the amount of the acid in Mentos Now or other candy. Student and teacher documents are provided to help you use the activity with your own students.

Time required: 

One 50 minute class period if the instructor prepares the standardized NaOH.

Self-Inflatable Valentine Balloons – Chemistry is Everywhere!

Recently, while attending the High School Teacher Day at the ACS National meeting in New Orleans, we were given Wack-A-Pack™ valentine balloons and encouraged to play with them. I am a huge fan of finding chemistry in the real world and using it as an integral part of my instruction; and as we were experimenting, I was reminded of a rather fun activity I had done on Valentine’s Day with my AP students.

Titration: What do you prefer?

Titrating this year for me has an added complication. The complication is that half of the science department has to be completely packed up and out of our rooms, including chemicals and equipment, before school ends. Half of the department is going to be completely remodeled (my half of course). Teaching must still go on in the middle of the madness.

From JCE - A demonstration for challenging students' thinking on acid-base chemistry and equilibrium

I was drawn to an article by Eilks, Gulacar, and Sandoval about Acid-Base Chemistry and Chemical Equilibrium in the April 2018 issue of JCE. The title of the article is "Exploring the Mysterious Substances, X and Y: Challenging Students' Thinking on Acid-Base Chemistry and Chemical Equilibrium." The premise of the article is to demonstrate how an instructor may use a group of compounds (zeolites) to "elaborate on the behavior of solid state acids and bases" while revisiting LeChatelier's principle.

The International Scholastic Journal of Science - Publishing the original research of secondary school students.

The International Scholastic Journal of Science is an online, open-access journal that provides the opportunity for secondary students to publish entry-level research and become part of the scientific process. In this blog post I will share information about ISJOS and encourage you to find students that are interested in publishing.

JCE 95.04 April 2018 Issue Highlights

Placing Chemistry into a World Context

The April 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: service-learning, safety, investigating student understanding of solutions, environmental chemistry, green chemistry, waste management, acid-base chemistry, natural products, materials science, activities and laboratory investigations, teaching resources, diving into the archives: marine chemistry.

JCE 95.03 March 2018 Issue Highlights

Students Using and Understanding Chemistry

The March 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: demonstrations of magnetism and oxidation; the peer-review process; understanding how students learn organic mechanisms; multimedia- and computer-based learning; real-life chemistry activities; using games to teach chemistry; teaching kinetics; spectroscopy; analytical determinations; organic synthesis laboratories; distilling the archives: chemistry and paint.

Acid Base Speed Dating

The unit of acids and bases is difficult for most students in Advanced Placement Chemistry. The variety of various calculations can be overwhelming. The Acid Base Speed Dating Activity engages students in completing a series of problems. Each student is assigned a specific solution and then determines their individual pH to complete their personal “Solution Biography.” Then the speed dating begins! For each date, the students need to find a specific match and determine their combined pH value. 

Time required: 

One class period