I met some amazing teachers at Chem Ed 2019. Two of these teachers are Yvonne Clifford and Sharon Geyer who ran a workshop about chemical demonstrations. One in particular caught my attention. The demonstration was an exothermic process with paraffin wax. Here is the demonstration.
I was excited for the opportunity but I never thought my science coach would be interested in developing and executing lessons with me. Luckily for me, my experience ended up being nothing like what I expected. You can apply for this experience too. The deadline to apply for Science Coaches for the 2019–2020 school year is September 1, 2019.
A common topic in chemistry discussion groups and forums is about the use of the terms “spontaneous reaction” versus “thermodynamic favorability”. This is a new activity for chemistry students who struggle with the correlation between changes in enthalpy, temperature, entropy, and the Gibbs free energy of a system; which relies on an analogy that most students will be familiar with.
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.
The solution to Chemical Mystery #11, which involves the Leidenfrost Effect, is presented.
In an effort to align my lessons with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), I have tried to take the content I have traditionally taught, and shift the design to focus on student engagement with the science and engineering practices outlined in the standards. For the topic of heat transfer I re-packaged the ice melting blocks discrepant event as a NGSS investigative phenomena.
I have a confession: thermodynamics is not my strong suit. The data set I got from the College Board confirmed my lack of confidence in the summer of 2015. With the hope of improvements, I spent some time revamping my thermo unit and I implemented it near the end of last school year. I will share an activity that I feel was quite formative for students and for me in making connections among thermodynamic principles and equilibrium.
From the misconceptions fostered by the biology textbooks using the phrase “high-energy phosphate bond” to idea that energy comes in different forms, the Modeling community recognizes the challenges of teaching the energy concept and has developed a way of talking about energy designed to help students construct a consistent and cohesive model.
Endothermic and exothermic reactions and processes are a common topic in chemistry class. This activity provides examples that can be done with household materials.
Make ice cream in a baggie to emphasize energy changes, direction of energy transfer, dissolution and colligative properties.