Blogs

ChemEd X contributors offer their ideas and opinions on a broad spectrum of topics pertaining to chemical education.

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Concentration vs Rate of Reaction
by Ben Meacham
Tue, 01/24/2017 - 09:33

Whether you are introducing collision theory or something more demanding like reaction order, the reaction between sodium thiosulfate—Na2S2O3 and hydrochloric acid can provide a consistent, accurate, and engaging opportunity for investigating these topics.

Recent activity: 12 hours 40 min ago
Hoffman apparatus
by Chad Husting
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 08:01

There are many places online to build a DIY Hoffman apparatus. The ACS offers an electrolysis of water lesson that includes a hand made Hoffman apparatus(link is external) as part of a unit on energy that I used as a resource. 

Recent activity: 1 day 10 hours ago
bucket launch
by Tom Kuntzleman
Mon, 01/16/2017 - 09:21

The solution to Chemical Mystery #9: Liquid Nitrogen vs. Dry Ice is presented. Why does liquid nitrogen launch the bucket so much higher than dry ice and water?

Recent activity: 1 week 15 hours ago
double displacement
by Chad Husting
Sun, 01/15/2017 - 13:27

Looking over my student's papers, there may have been more misconceptions created because of the way I planned the curriculum. In all of the experiments students can see and observe that not all of the crystals or material dissolves yet the water starts to conduct. In their minds there is evidence that they believe either something DOES dissolve or it does NOT. Clearly, partial dissolving is initially too much to consider.

Recent activity: 15 hours 19 min ago
AP Insight logo
by Allison Tarvin
Sun, 01/15/2017 - 11:03

Chemical kinetics is one of the five challenge areas in AP Chemistry. My students and I have been working our way through one of the teaching and learning activities called Concentration vs. Time. The graphical analysis, guided-inquiry questions, and application to past and future content are seriously challenging, and my students report higher levels of understanding than in past semesters.

Recent activity: 1 week 1 day ago
Bucket launch
by Tom Kuntzleman
Thu, 01/12/2017 - 07:20

A 2L soda pop bottle is filled about one-third full with either liquid nitrogen or solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) and water. The bottle is sealed and a plastic bucket is placed on top. Do you think the liquid nitrogen or dry ice and water will make the bucket go higher? Can you explain the results using chemistry?

Recent activity: 2 days 14 hours ago
Curriculum map and Standards word cloud
by Chad Husting
Sat, 01/07/2017 - 18:03

This is a program that has an electronic copy of the map for all teachers to see. The entire map is tied to standards that are a version of state, federal and or local standards. Any formative assessment can easily be graded and tied to a standard. The data can be used to break down how the kids are doing in any one standard and plan future lessons accordingly. If we need to change to meet the needs of our students, we can and should immediately. It is not perfect but is trying to maximize data collection and analysis to help teachers and students.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 9 hours ago
Modeling attempt
by Chad Husting
Thu, 01/05/2017 - 19:43

Show the kids an event. Have them develop a model. Have each kid draw and write about the model and force them to ask themselves if this model can explain the event. As a teacher, first say something nice about it and then look for their misconceptions and use this as a formative assessment. Combine the individual models with others. Slowly build a larger model and constantly ask if this really explains the event.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago
kinetics demonstration
by Tracy.Schloemer
Thu, 01/05/2017 - 19:16

I taught my students how to use the method of initial rates. I taught my students rate laws. However, they strugged to differentiate when to use what method. Upon further probing, they struggled to articulate why one might use one method over the other. They could parrot back some ideas ("The rate law tells you about the particles involved in the rate determining step of the reaction."), but I wasn't convinced of mastery and connections.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago
plastic egg atom models
by Chad Husting
Mon, 01/02/2017 - 07:22

This is the first isotope activity I have tried where the students can look inside the model that resembled the atom and find information that reinforced what an isotope actually is. Furthermore, the quantitative data forced them to examine beliefs about different types of averages and what the numbers really mean.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago