I am a chemist and member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA. Technical staff members are expected to apply their expertise to a variety of ongoing scientific research projects.
Some research indicates that it is not always beneficial for students to work entirely on their own as they conduct inquiry-based investigations. This article explores a method of inquiry learning in which teachers and students work together to envision, conduct, and analyze experiments.
Are you up for trying an ambitious experiment that combines archeology, instrumental analysis, and a search for patterns in data? Then this activity might fit the bill!
Because my teaching philosophy assumes that both quality and quantity of learning increases with interest in subject matter, I have spent years exploring ways to engage my students in chemistry (of course fire, explosions, and color changing reactions are certainly helpful). I have recently begun using an approach that I have found to be quite fruitful, albeit counterintuitive: I don’t try to get my students interested in chemistry. You read that right. I don’t try to interest my students in chemistry. Rather, I get to know the hobbies and interests of my students. Then I work to demonstrate how chemistry relates to those activities.
This post was submitted for the 2017 ChemEd X Call for Contributions: Creating a Classroom Culture.
In a previous blog post, I shared my thoughts about the importance of science teachers (and all teachers, really) supporting their claims about lesson efficacy with evidence. While this doesn’t always need to be a formal research study, it can often be valuable to publish findings that will be helpful to other science teachers.
n teaching we regularly change our class structures and routines and we implement new “interventions” in hopes of changing classroom dynamics or reaching more students. I know that most of the time I make these decisions based upon anecdotal evidence, perhaps after glancing at a handful of exit tickets from my students or based upon how I “felt” the class went. Recently, though, I’m finding myself a little more hesitant when making a claim about my class. I require that my students support their claims with evidence, so why wouldn’t I also support mine with evidence?