Brain Breaks are powerful tools in education, supported by research showing improved focus, retention, community building, and reduced stress among students. When structured using chemistry principles, like in the Water Maze Race, brain breaks can also introduce or reinforce fundamental chemistry concepts.
Dean Campbell tries to use at least one demo for every class to illustrate concepts described in his chemistry courses. In this post, he includes short descriptions of the demonstrations and props he has used while teaching his collegiate General Chemistry II courses.
Learn the chemistry behind the reaction between calcium carbide and water...melon...?!
Laser cutters can be used to cut and engrave a variety of thin materials. Compact discs, composed of layers of polycarbonate plastic and aluminum metal, were explored for their ability to be shaped with a laser cutter. The laser can successfully cut and engrave the compact discs into the shape of snowflake. However, each disc must first be coated with a material like glue in order to protect the plastic from discoloration and the byproducts from cutting the plastic that can accumulate on the disc surface.
Describing the number density of molecules involved in chemistry demonstrations while presenting those demonstrations can help to convey concepts such as the small size of molecules and how the distance between molecules can vary during change of physical state.
Short descriptions of demonstrations and props that Dean Campbell has used while teaching his collegiate Environmental Chemistry course. Many of these examples are also suitable for use in high school and collegiate General Chemistry courses.
Flash rocks were discussed in a previous post as stones made of quartz that produce light by triboluminescence when struck together. This post provides some description of their origins and tips on how to find them, making connections to some of their properties.
Can Alkaline Water Change the pH of your body? We use chemistry to put this claim to the test!
The Wisconsin initiative for Science Literacy has published Science Climate Concepts Fit Your Classroom - A Workbook for Teachers. This is a free online Workbook, readily available for secondary teachers and college faculty. This workbook includes many hands on activities that incorporate traditional science classroom concepts within the context of climate science.
The concept of density is investigated regularly- in lecture, lab, or both- in Introductory (non-science majors) or the majors General Chemistry 1 courses. This post describes a short activity involving ice core density.