February 2016 ChemEd X Newsletter

Chemical Education Xchange

Dear Readers,

As you browse your email and social media, it would be difficult to miss the fact that we are celebrating Black History month. Whether any of the many items posted on those many venues this month are of interest to you or not, I hope you will take the time to read our ChemEd X contribution to the celebration. Erica Adams of University High School of Indiana collaborated with one of her students, Natalie, to share the perspective of a black student as she ponders following her dream of earning a college degree in a STEM field. Natalie’s essay gave me pause. I have very few minority students in my school district and I have always known that those students have many hurdles that I cannot understand. I am thankful for the insight and proud of Natalie for sharing. I hope you will read the essay for yourself…and for your students.


Deanna Cullen


Journal of Chemical Education issue cover February 2016

Journal of Chemical Education February 2016 Issue

Providing Unique Learning Experiences - Mary Saecker outlines the contents of the current issue and makes connections to valuable resources from the archives of JCE.

Erica Jacobsen contributes highlights from the February 2016 issue of JCE that are of special interest to high school teachers.


Black History Month

Read this revealing perspective of a young black woman as she sets her sights on her dream STEM career. "Sometimes, the things we (teachers) don’t say are resonating just as loudly as the things we do." Erica Posthuma-Adams



This is a thorough representation of how the author organizes her grading system to assess her students using standards based criteria. If you are considering the concept, you won't want to skip this read.


BCA Chart

BCA tables are a strategy that helps students to see the importance of ratios in balanced equations leading to deeper understanding of stoichiometry. Using the method while teaching stoichiometry also helps students easily transition to ICE and RICE tables that are often used when teaching equilibrium.


3 levels

Research supports the idea of integrating the three levels of represention into your chemistry instruction. The author provides examples of how she and colleagues made those connections in their own classrooms. A template for individual teacher use is also provided.


Recent PICKS

Contributors offer suggestions for videos, books, apps, technology and other resources that chemistry teachers might find valuable. If you have a PICK to contribute, please share by .

Michelle Okroy explains how she uses an app that allows her students to play games while practicing chemistry concepts.

Chad Hustings shares an experience using a POGIL activity from the High School Chemistry book along with some other related issues.

Read about how Lowell Thomson uses and iPad app to practice Spectroscopy.


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