To Inquiry or not to Inquiry . . .

Here is something to ponder as you think about your lab experiences this year:  I have been using an excellent inquiry lab for the past few years.  I think it does a fabulous job guiding the students through the amazing (yet often dull to students) world of specific heat equations and learning about calorimetry.  However, this semester, I returned to the old, traditional calorimetry lab.  I wan

Seeing Is Not Believing

“It sort of started to look kind of like a very pale blue.” A friend who teaches at the middle school level told me about a science experiment he’d done with his students. The procedure suggested to students that a particular solution would turn blue, but also asked them to write down what they saw happen. The thing was, it wasn’t actually designed to turn blue.

Reflections on a (Virtual) Guest Speaker Visit to my Chemistry Class

I've that my current grade 10 class is reading "The Case of the Frozen Addicts" together. As my students starting writing their blogs to respond to the reading, I saw quite a few questions that I couldn't answer. But I didn't want to leave the questions there with no response, so I went to Twitter to find scientists to join my class as a guest speaker.

American Association of Chemistry Teachers

I have been a member of the American Association for Physics Teachers (AAPT) since I began teaching in 2010. Each summer I attend the AAPT national meeting and give a short talk or poster presentation about some form of research that I conducted in my classroom that year.

Articles from twitter

In reference to the recent posting by Deanna Cullen and the list of where to find articles such as

How do you teach "entropy" to high school students?

I was recently drawn to an article published ASAP in JCE entitled . Erick Castellon wrote the article highlighting the use of three toys that are used to help students develop an understanding of the second law of thermodynamics and entropy by having them observe the working of the toys and the energy transfers that occur while playing with them. I already had two of the toys, the radiometer and the drinking bird. I ordered the from the link provided in the supporting information. As I waited for the stirling engine to arrive from Japan (which was only a few days) I attempted to write an activity to guide my students to conceptual understanding as they worked with the toys.

Bountiful answers from Brian

This month I spoke with Brian Brethauer who teaches chemistry and coaches Science Olympiad among other science activities on the west side if Michigan.  Here are his responses to the 4 questions.

Q1:  How do you define inquiry?  What does inquiry look like to you?