hands-on learning

Especially JCE: November 2017

JCE November 2017 cover

Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education that are of special interest to high school chemistry teachers.

Percent Composition: A quick and dirty experiment

Finding the mass of gum before chewing

There are many activities that can be used to cover the topics of percent composition, empirical and molecular formulas and hydrates. Percent composition of sugar in a piece of bubble gum is an easy activity to begin the unit with.

Especially JCE: October 2017

JCE October 2017 cover

Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the October 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education that are of special interest to high school chemistry teachers.

JCE 94.10 October 2017 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education October 2017 Cover

Celebrating the Value of Chemistry

The October 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: geochemistry in action; research on effective teaching and study approaches; keeping education and chemistry relevant; communication and writing; spectroscopy; chromatography; synthesis; teaching resources; mining the archive: chemistry rocks!

An Elemental Understanding of Isotopes

Isotope eggs

In January of 2017, Chad Hustings wrote a blog post, Isotopes, Nuts, Bolts and Eggs, about an activity some colleagues and I had shared in a workshop at BCCE in 2016. With encouragement from many ChemEd X readers that wanted to try the activity for themselves, I am sharing more details and a student handout.

Chad wrote: 

Time required: 

About 30-40 minutes for the activity. This depends on how many balances are available to share and how many different isotopes are made for a single element. We had 5 balances for 12 or 13 teams of two students. Students can work in groups of 3 as well.

That’s What Scientists Do!

Measurement Challenge

As I began to prepare my labs for this upcoming year, I decided to put a bit of a twist on a previous density of a block lab I had used in the past entitled the Measurement Challenge that is sold by Flinn Scientific. It can also be used to find the mass of a block given the materials density and requiring students to measure and calculate the blocks volume. My added twist resulted in great scientific discourse. 

My Research: Unpacking Active Learning

group work

Does flipping the classroom actually enhance students’ learning, above and beyond just incorporating collaborative activities into classroom instruction? John Moore, one of the chemistry professors at my university, the University of Wisconsin - Madison approached me with this question. We ended up conducting a research study on one of his chemistry courses.

JCE 94.09 September 2017 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education September 2016 Cover

Enhancing Student Success in Chemistry

The September 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: student thinking and student success; computational thinking; using games to teach: developing and making tools for teaching; understanding catalysis; green chemistry; food chemistry in the laboratory; exploring edible fats and oils; NMR spectroscopy; laboratory cross-course collaboration; physical chemistry; distilling the archives: scents and smellability; announcing the search for the next Editor-in-Chief.