"What are we doing to help kids achieve?"
I wanted to take a moment to give a quick shout out to the Chem Ed 2019 conference. If you are not aware, this is a conference that occurs every two years. This year it is going to be at North Central College in Naperville Illinois from July 21st to July 25th. If you are a chemistry teacher that has never been to a Chem Ed conference, it could be one of the best experiences of your professional life. The entire week is devoted to the teaching of chemistry. There will be speakers, demonstrators, lecturers and hands on experiences specifically devoted to the teaching and art of chemistry. I want to highlight just a few of the presenters:
Dr. Theo Gray - Dr. Gray will be giving a plenary speach. He is a master when it comes to all things periodic table. He has published and collected an astounding amount of information dealing with "a chemist's best friend".
Tom Kuntzlman - Tom is an Associate Editor for ChemEd X. Tom is doing an experiment with Diet Coke and Mentos that he has shared on ChemEd X and in the Journal of Chemical Education.
Bob Worley - Bob will be making the trip from England. He will be doing a small scale chemistry workshop. I have been to Bob's workshops before and have changed how I teach several labs thanks to Bob's work and insight.
Bruce Matson - Bruce will be providing information about preparing and using gases in the chemistry classroom.
Doug Ragan - Doug is also a frequent ChemEdX contributor. He will be presenting a workshop about using colorful magnets in the chemistry classroom.
I have only named a small fraction of the amazing people involved in Chem Ed 2019. Although there is a cost involved, my experiences in the past is that this conference is worth every penny. If cost is a factor, do not be afraid to go begging for money. Generally speaking, whenever I have gone to a principal, administrator or parent group and have said, "Hey, I am willing to give up some vacation so I can spend time with a couple of my closest chemistry teaching friends for the purpose of trying to help kids. Can you help me out?" the outcome has been favorable. I have been fortunate to have been sponsored by the Pittsburgh Conference (Pittcon). I will be presenting a great lab that I has been extremely successful with kids. It was developed by Deanna Cullen through the Target Inquiry Program. It is called "Trendsetter" and will be presented on Tuesday morning of the conference. It is a great lab that helps students understand patterns and trends within the periodic table. Here are some others that are sponsored by the same grant.
Deanna Cullen - Deanna is hosting an electrochemistry lab that she developed as part of the Target Inquiry Program. She has written about it on ChemEd X and in the Journal of Chemical Education. Many other presenters are also sharing materials developed as part of Target Inquiry as well.
John Varine and Rober Paysen - "Light, Color and Spectroscopy for Kids": How to introduce young students to light, color, and spectroscopy, for elementary school teachers.
Barbara Manner - "Teaching Science in Elementary School through Children's Literature"
Karen Levitt - "Teaching Science with Toys": Offered Monday AM for k-5 teachers, and offered Monday afternoon for grade 6-8 teachers.
Rose Clark and Ed Zovinka - "R.O.C.K. (Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids)": Offered Monday for elementary teachers and Tuesday for teachers of older students.
Susan Zawacky, Jonell Kerkhoff, and Neal Dando - "Hands on Activities to Show that Light Energy is Quantized": A workshop based on lessons developed by the Perimeter Institute to increase understanding and appreciation for quantum mechanics.
More and more conferences have conference apps. Chem Ed 2019 is no different. You can easily plan a schedule, get information on a speakers and communicate with others. Please consider attending Chem Ed 2019 and share about it afterwards. You and your kids will certainly benefit!