Blogs

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

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by Lowell Thomson
Sun, 04/05/2015 - 18:35

There are occasionally discussions amongst educators about the efficacy of using technology in the classroom. Does it really make a difference? One train of thought is looking at the use of technology through the SAMR lens. Is the technology simply a Substitution? Or does it Augment the learning compared to previous methods of learning the same material. Maybe the use of technology Modifies the learning tasks. Or will the technology actually Redefine the learning by allowing the student to interact with knowledge in a way that is impossible without this technology. With this in mind, I set about to use an iPad app and an online simulation to introduce my IB Chemistry students to the concept of Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution curves. I'm not sure exactly where it fits on the SAMR continuum, but without the simulations I could only show my students the graphical representation of the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution curve. By using the simulations, I am attempting to help my students develope a deeper understanding of them.

Recent activity: 3 months 3 weeks ago
by Michael Morgan
Thu, 04/02/2015 - 19:29

I have taught for almost 30 years and have attended my fair share of professional development. Many of these have been very good (ChemEd, BCCE, ACS, NSTA, and ICE) but nothing has been as motivating, influential, and beneficial to my career as getting involved in the Chemistry Olympiad. Every year, the ACS sponsors a local section contest for high school students.

Recent activity: 4 months 4 days ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Thu, 04/02/2015 - 10:17

I was quite excited to learn about the at the upcoming

Comments: 1
Recent activity: 4 months 4 days ago
by Allison Tarvin
Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:50

Science is creative; it requires new ideas, new patterns, and new solutions to old problems. A deep understanding of the periodic table is the most critical knowledge in chemistry. I want my students to experience the table and conceptualize its trends in a deeper way.

 

Comments: 5
Recent activity: 4 months 3 days ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Tue, 03/24/2015 - 15:15

The juice from an orange peel causes a balloon to pop.  When I first saw this effect I immediately thought to myself, “what is the chemistry involved in this experiment?” After quickly searching the web, I found several claims that a compound in orange peels called limonene (Figure 1) is responsible for this effect.  Limonene is a hydrocarbon, which means that molecules of limonene are composed of only carbon and hydrogen atoms.  Limonene is responsible for the wonderful smell of oranges, and it is a liquid at room temperature.

Comments: 5
Recent activity: 4 months 3 days ago
by Lowell Thomson
Thu, 03/19/2015 - 07:38

Today in my IB Chemistry class we were reviewing the Born-Haber cycle. This has proven particularly challenging in the past so I wanted to try something a bit different and have the students review in groups. The task for each group of students was to create a visual Born-Haber cycle for potassium oxide - ignoring the math and calculations but instead focusing on each process within the cycle. I'd like to share how I grouped students using periodic properties.

Recent activity: 3 years 6 months ago
by Shelly Belleau
Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:51

With spring just around the corner and warmer weather approaching, I find that I’m in active summer preparation mode.  This is the time of year when I’m trying to plan for the perfect summer balance between professional development and relaxation – both professional growth experiences in my

Recent activity: 4 months 4 days ago
by Sarah Kong
Tue, 03/10/2015 - 09:13

Labs! They have been the most overwhelming part of my career in chemistry. I felt the least prepared in this area when I began teaching and walked into my first lab as a teacher. Knowing all of the chemicals and equipment were under my care was a bit terrifying.

Recent activity: 4 months 1 day ago
by Allison Tarvin
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 17:28

In this age of scientific inquiry, molecular modeling, digital classrooms, and differentiation, I felt downright guilty about any teacher-centered time. My classroom is flipped after all. I’m not supposed to be lecturing, right?

Comments: 5
Recent activity: 1 month 3 weeks ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:17

A fun experiment to conduct when discussing phase diagrams is the melting of solid carbon dioxide (dry ice).  To perform this experiment, place small pieces of dry ice (carbon dioxide) in a plastic pipette, seal with a pair of pliers, and position the bulb of the sealed pi

Recent activity: 3 years 6 months ago