The June, 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education contains an article that describes a simple, yet fascinating experiment that you and your students are going to love! It involves the use of butterfly wings from the genus Morpho. I obtained some of these wings and enjoyed experimenting with them. You will too!
Ninety-Six Years New
The January 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: chemical biology, innovative curriculum for the classroom and laboratory, promoting effective teaching methods in organic chemistry, improving student conceptual models, cost-effective and low-waste equipment and experiments, using instructional videos to teach, exploring materials science, instrumental analytical experiments, organic chemistry laboratories, research on success in chemistry, from the archives: anodizing.
I came across an interesting Journal of Chemical Education article that explains how it is possible to crosslink sodium alginate, leading to the formation of calcium alginate beads. Calcium alginate beads are hydrogels and one of their uses is to immobilize enzymes in their structure. I thought it would be cool to immobilize some lactase enzyme onto calcium alginate beads and investigate its ability to hydrolyze lactose.
I am already planning for my trip to Illinois in July to attend ChemEd 2019! Let me tell you why I want to attend.
In an effort to align an old VSEPR lesson to NGSS, I told my students that we were going to look at the data available from the real molecules on the pHET simulation we were using and specifically look for patterns. Finding patterns is a cross-cutting concept; one of the three dimensions of NGSS.
Promoting Engagement in Critical Thinking
The December 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: wetting modification by photocatalysis, innovative approaches to promote student engagement, connecting concepts with real-world applications, examining outreach and peer-led team learning, exploring polymer chemistry, understanding kinetics, computer-based learning tools, cost-effective equipment, exploring the archives: carbohydrates.
Increasing Authenticity of the Student Experience
Several teachers I know have had circumstances present themselves in which they may not always be able to provide lab experiences in a traditional lab setting. They still want to provide students with rigorous problem solving situations that require students to use the scientific method. Could rigorous take home labs possibly be the answer?
You are likely aware that diamonds are converted - albeit slowly - to graphite under normal conditions. Thus, diamonds don't last forever, in contrast to the popular advertising slogan. However, did you know that you can use chemistry to prove that diamonds are not forever? It's simpler than you think...
The Human Side of Teaching and Learning
The October 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: research on: AP chemistry reform and writing instruction; novel teaching approaches; demonstrations: safety and effectiveness; augmented reality and technology for teaching; using stories and history to teach; exploring acid-base chemistry; understanding energy; biochemistry in the laboratory; teaching resources; astrochemistry resources for National Chemistry Week 2018.