Living at the macroscopic level, it’s no surprise that understanding and effectively communicating chemistry concepts can often be a challenging endeavor. Attempting to rationalize our observations through particle-level interpretations requires us to think in less intuitive ways that often create a cognitive barrier for our students. And for good reason.
Particulate diagrams are all the rage in chemical education. Learn simple tricks to create your own!
This week marks the launch of a new science education podcast called, Science Modeling Talks. The podcast provides some history on the Modeling pedagogy and access to resources, as well as entertaining anecdotes from award-winning educators. The podcast is free and available on a variety of platforms.
With few materials available to complete wet labs in my school, I have to be creative with covering lab concepts in my AP chemistry course. I was looking for a way to make sure my students were getting the idea of the macroscopic changes that take place in a galvanic cell without necessarily being able to do the wet lab. The particulate model that is part of the Energizer Lab inspired me to write an end of unit assignment for my students using Stop Motion video apps.
Like most concepts in chemistry, intermolecular forces takes a bit of imagination and critical thinking to fully comprehend and apply when explaining a variety of situations. Though demonstrating the presence of these forces in a simple and explicit manner can easily be done, I wanted to change how I introduced IMFs a bit this year by focusing on a more data-to-concepts approach.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the March 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.
Light is a challenging topic in chemistry. In this article, I share an outline of how I approach the content related to interactions between matter and light using activities, a simulation, demonstrations and whiteboards.
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.
Embracing the idea that students already create an image, create an idea, of what is happening when they observe a demonstration, lab or activity. The goal is to have the students make that model more concrete through drawing it.
Matt Vonk and Peter Bohacek have just created a handful of new chemistry activities that are based on interactive high-resolution video. These classroom-ready experiments have interactive tools so that students can perform the analysis and record data themselves. In some cases, students can even change variables.