Chemistry is difficult to learn. Walk into any chemistry classroom, and you’ll be soon confronted with many abstract concepts. Abstract ideas have no physical form, and as a result, they are difficult to understand.
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.
Atomic theory is a common topic throughout any introductory chemistry course. It is likely that Rutherford’s gold foil experiment gets at least some attention in your course. I have used a simple activity that gives students an opportunity to replicate Rutherford’s experiment through an analogy experiment that may allow for easier conceptualization of the experiment itself and provide additional support for model development.
I am already planning for my trip to Illinois in July to attend ChemEd 2019! Let me tell you why I want to attend.
Innovation and Scholarship
The July 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: connecting art and energy, solar cells, examining organic chemistry students’ understandings, computer-based learning, molecular symmetry and visualization, inquiry-based learning, safety management, biochemistry, watching the archive: chemistry goes to the movies.
In our recently published letter in the Journal of Chemical Education,"Black Panther, Vibranium and the Periodic Table", we describe how the movie, Black Panther, provides a unique opportunity for students to think critically about the arrangement of the periodic table.
The May 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: electrochemistry and corrosion; textbooks; research on the chemistry teacher pipeline, argument-driven inquiry, and online homework; using everyday objects to teach; teaching organic chemistry with games; communication and writing; examining and creating innovative curriculum; computer-aided discovery activities; exploring kinetics; interdisciplinary laboratory investigations; from the archives: applications of 3D printing for teaching chemistry.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the March 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.
Students Using and Understanding Chemistry
The March 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: demonstrations of magnetism and oxidation; the peer-review process; understanding how students learn organic mechanisms; multimedia- and computer-based learning; real-life chemistry activities; using games to teach chemistry; teaching kinetics; spectroscopy; analytical determinations; organic synthesis laboratories; distilling the archives: chemistry and paint.
Have you been watching the Winter Olympics? I have been able to draw many similarities and relevance to what I am teaching in the classroom. How about you?