November 2015 ChemEd X Newsletter

Chemical Education Xchange

Dear ChemEd X Community,

Reflection is an important component of learning. We must provide opportunities for our students to reflect and process the content they are learning. Just as importantly, we need to allow ourselves time for reflection and processing. What better way to encourage reflection than to attend a science teacher conference? I spent three days last week attending the CAST meeting (the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching which is the annual meeting of the Science Teachers Association of Texas - STAT) in Fort Worth, TX. The meeting is the largest state teacher’s meeting in the nation. I have always felt appreciative and proud of my membership with MSTA (Michigan Science Teacher Association). I saw many similarities and I felt very much at home with the Texas teachers. I was extremely impressed with the Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas (ACT2) community. We have several regional chemistry teacher communities in Michigan, but seeing the impact of a statewide group like ACT2 was inspiring. They host a biennial chemistry teacher conference. The next will be held June 27 - 30, 2016 at Texas A&M Commerce in Commerce, TX. It is an affordable opportunity for professional development, reflection and building meaningful relationships. We will continue to keep you updated on other chemistry professional development opportunities. If you haven’t already, consider expanding your network and explore a new venue.



Read the second installment of the return of “JCE Especially For Precollege”. Former JCE precollege editor, Erica Jacobsen offers her comments and suggestions for content that might be of special interest for high school chemistry teachers.

Mary Saecker reviews the entire November 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education. She also offers related articles and activities from the archives.

Journal of Chemical Education November 2015 cover


chemical demonstration graphic

has joined other publications and organizations in addressing the growing concern surrounding chemistry demonstration accidents that continue to happen.

Speaking of safety, you might want to revisit a video that we highlighted two years ago in a blog post.


Have you struggled to find a way to help students grasp the conceptual ideas surrounding the particle level of solubility, conductivity and chemical reactions? Chad Hustings shares an idea he gained from ChemEd 2015 that might be a valuable addition to your curriculum.

particulate level image


Mastery Check

Tracy Schloemer continues to share her experience with Project Based Learning. This post focuses on assessment strategies.


Many teachers have found value in the activities. Many inquiry-based activities have been added over the past few years. There is also another whole repository of new activities at the site (registration required to access activities).

Bohr atom models in classroom


a Halloween chemistry experiment you can do at home

A fascinating activity that you can do with items from your home. The author calls this a Halloween demo, but you can use it any time of the year.


Explore this conversation about adding inquiry to the traditional hydrate lab along with a handy hack on the old crucible.

bottle cap and screw substituting for a crucible


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