Upgrading a Classic Science Demonstration

In a classic demonstration of energy conservation, smashing two large steel ball bearings generates sufficient heat to burn a hole through a piece of paper. Josh Kenney found this demonstration underwhelming because the paper doesn't look burned. So, he upgraded the experiment by covering the paper in Elmer's Color Changing Glue. Now, a spectacular color change reveals the increase in heat!

A different way to look at heat and energy....

Each year we work on specific heat of materials and the heat of fusion of ice. These are two labs that are typical for most chemistry classrooms. Most of the experiments involve a simple calorimetry experiment that uses a styrofoam cup and provides generally good results. There tend to be a couple of key ideas with all of these experiments.

Cross-Discipline Discussions on Energy

Have you ever thought about the ways we, as chemistry teachers, talk about the concept of energy?  Think about all the different terms we use when we talk about the role of energy in our curriculum:  endothermic, exothermic, heat, specific heat, heat capacity, enthalpy, tempera