Chemistry ROCKS!

With a Master's degree in geology, I have a deep and abiding love for rocks and minerals. The great thing about geology is, it's all about chemistry! I want to share one of my favorite links between geology and chemistry that my students think is pretty cool too. 

Introduction to Modeling Instruction: a distance learning course offered by AMTA

AMTA’s Introduction to Modeling Instruction distance learning course will focus on the role of models and modeling in learning as it relates to teaching STEM content in both formal and informal contexts. Participants will review fundamental theories of thinking and learning and examine the latest theoretical trends.

JCE 95.08 August 2018 Issue Highlights

Relevant Topics for Instruction and Assessment

The August 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available 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.

Two Simple and Cheap Illustrations of Phase Equilibrium and Vapor Pressure

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.

Time required: 


Setup: 5 minutes

Execution: 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on level of inquiry


Drawing Particulate Models

Embracing the idea that students already create an image, create an idea, of what is happening when they observe a demonstration, lab or activity. The goal is to have the students make that model more concrete through drawing it.

Confessions of a Part-Time Modeler

In the summer of 2016, there was a Modeling WorkshopTM for High School Chemistry just before BCCE in Colorado. I already had planned to go to BCCE, so I took the plunge. Two weeks of daily instruction and labs in student mode as well as teacher mode debriefing was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I left with a folder and flashdrive of curriculum resources provided by AMTA (the American Modeling Teachers Association.