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Short descriptions of demonstrations and props that Dean Campbell has used while teaching his collegiate Environmental Chemistry course. Many of these examples are also suitable for use in high school and collegiate General Chemistry courses.
Exploring science claims found on social media helps students practice applying the claim, evidence, reasoning framework.
Sometimes the obvious is the most difficult to see. Even after teaching for four decades, there is still something to learn from students. What did I recently learn? Check out my post.
Find out how laboratory activities can be used as the starting point for scientific model development rather than as the endpoint, or verification, of concepts presented in lecture. This post deals with density.
Polystyrene foam sticks with a square or rectangular profile will not fit into a round target hole (e.g., the opening of a soda bottle) at room temperature. However, they do contract sufficiently in contact with liquid nitrogen to fit into the hole and produce a simple demonstration of Charles’s Law. Many other polymer foams do not shrink under these conditions, but still provide opportunities to discuss and explore their structure and chemistry.
This Pumpkinator is a fantastic orange-to-blue-to-orange chemical reaction that will make a great addition to your Halloween-themed chemistry demonstrations.
The theme to the 2022 National Chemistry Week, observed October 16-22, is “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics”. A visit to Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. in Peoria, IL, revealed how that company is using ionic liquids to solvent weld cellulose fibers together to produce more durable yarn which can then be made into more durable fabric. The production method and “greenness” of the product is discussed, from the cellulose itself to the recycling of the solution used in the welding process. Macroscopic demonstrations of the fiber solvent welding process are also described.
Learn a bit about the chemical reactions that occur during a lightning strike, and how you can demonstrate these reactions in your classroom.
Use a simple experiment to get to know students, demonstrate experimental design and discuss classroom policies about cell phones.
A variety of resources are available for chemistry faculty interested in incorporating lessons and activities around art and archeology. Find out what they are in this follow up post from the inaugural ChemEd X virtual Journal Club held April 2022.