Education

Salt vs. Sugar – A Dissolving Problem

This formative assessment looks at two household chemicals (table salt and sugar) and compares their properties while looking at how they dissolve in water. The “Salt vs. Sugar” formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How does structure influence reactivity?” The main idea that is being targeted is for students to think about what is happening at the molecular level during the solution process. This activity is important for students because it helps create a context for what some of the vocabulary and concepts mean by providing tangible examples of these concepts (such as the concept of saturation).This formative assessment looks at two household chemicals (table salt and sugar) and compares their properties while looking at how they dissolve in water. The “Salt vs. Sugar” formative assessment explores students’ thinking about the question “How does structure influence reactivity?” The main idea that is being targeted is for students to think about what is happening at the molecular level during the solution process. This activity is important for students because it helps create a context for what some of the vocabulary and concepts mean by providing tangible examples of these concepts (such as the concept of saturation).

How strong of acid is Vinegar (Acetic Acid)?

In “How strong an acid is vinegar?” the students explore the nonlinear relationship between the concentration of a weak acid and the pH of the solution. This formative assessment targets the question “how does structure influence reactivity?”  Students need to understand the behavior of strong and weak acids to comprehend phenomena like buffering capacity.

Hot, hot, hot

This formative assessment was designed to target students’ thinking around the structure-property relationships in an accessible, real-world context. This is done through targeting noncovalent interactions. The understanding of this topic is critical for students’ reasoning about observable properties of matter.

Frying ice

In the Frying Ice formative assessment students explore the three phases of matter. This formative assessment targets the question “What cues are used to differentiate matter types?” The target of this formative assessment was for students to demonstrate their understanding of the three states of matter and how the particles in each state react when heated. 

The fire story

The fire story formative assessment is used to explore students' thinking about the question "what affects chemical change?" through a real-world problem. This formative assessment specifically probes students' understanding of energy and phase changes. There are several different explanations using different chemistry concepts that could be used to explain the phemomenon explained in the story. 

Build a Boat Collaboration

As many teachers are preparing to teach online, we are revisiting posts from the ChemEd X archives like this one that might be of help. The original Build a Boat challenge was used to help create a classroom culture of teamwork and growth mindset. The author has updated the Build a Boat activity by providing a modified slide show presentation specifically to help those teaching remotely this fall. 

Professional Development Opportunity: Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) is awarded to a select group of K-12 STEM educators from across the US each year. Teachers selected as fellows serve in a federal agency (NSF, NOAA, DOE, NASA, etc.) or on Capitol Hill for a year, sharing their educator voice to shape STEM education policy and programs at the national level. Applications for the 2021 - 2022 are due by November 29, 2020.

Filling the Void: Options for Authentic Investigations Online

With the school year quickly approaching, science teachers will at some point need to decide the role of laboratory investigation within their new learning environment. To help this decision-making process, the author focuses on two available options that he believes have the greatest potential for offering a legitimate approach toward authentic investigations in a digital environment.