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?
inquiry-based discovery learning
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...
I added an extra step including a follow up Claim, Evidence & Reasoning activity to the familiar whoosh bottle activity.
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.
Tom Kuntzleman presented a story titled "Charred Marshmallow Souffle" during The Mole Storytelling Jam held as part of BCCE 2018. Listen to his podcast.
I recently did a short activity with these cards and I am so glad I have them now. Being able to quickly take them out and have students look at the features of strong scientific arguments when they felt stuck writing their evidence or reasoning was powerful.
A new event called "The Mole"was unveiled at BCCE 2018. I told the story of how one of my students discovered how to make marshmallows spark in the microwave oven.
The September 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: reticular chemistry; laboratory research experience for students; historical perspective; chemistry and the environment; laboratories using color to understand chemistry; electrochemistry laboratories; DIY instrumentation; organic semiconductors; orbitals; computer-based learning and computational chemistry; from the archives: paper chromatography.
Relevant Topics for Instruction and Assessment
The August 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: the chemistry of candy and sugar, examining virtual learning for laboratories, strengthening student understanding of acid-base chemistry, building scientific communication skills, emphasizing learning, sustainability and green chemistry, cost-effective resources and techniques, laboratory investigations, ConfChem conference on mathematics in undergraduate chemistry instruction, erupting from the archive: soda geysers.
A favorite demonstration is to boil water by lowering the pressure in a bell jar using a vacuum pump. Unfortunately, purchasing a bell jar, vacuum plate, and vacuum pump can run upwards of $1,000 which poses a hardship for many teachers. Here are two simple and inexpensive demonstrations of phase equilibrium and vapor pressure.
Setup: 5 minutes
Execution: 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on level of inquiry