AP Chemistry

AP Classroom: Leveraging the PPCs

It is back-to-school time! I started school on September 3rd so I am just getting back into my school “groove.”  On August 1st, College Board released its new AP Classroom platform (myap.collegeboard.org). While exploring this new online resource, I couldn’t help but reflect on how I teach AP Chemistry and what changes I will make in light of AP Classroom to ensure this year will be a great one!

Gibbs Free Energy Analogy

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.

How I Fell in Love with PES

Like many AP Chemistry teachers, I was not fond of teaching Photoelectron Spectroscopy (PES). Surprisingly, I fell in love with teaching PES in AP Chemistry this year after I made an old-school change.

Boltzmann Bucks—Helping Students Conceptualize Entropy

If you are looking to go beyond using traditional, arguably misleading, definitions of entropy involving “disorder” and “messy bedroom” analogies, the Boltzmann Bucks game fits the bill. The game, pulled from a Journal of Chemical Education article, provides a wonderful opportunity for students to more accurately conceptualize entropy.