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Looking for an easy, hands-on experiment to use in your classroom at the beginning of the school year? In the June, 2013 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education, Isao Ikemoto and Kouichi Saitou describe a simple experiment to demonstrate the electrolytic dissolution of copper ions from a copper electrode. This experiment can be conducted using only items that are easily obtained around the home or in grocery stores.
Photoelectron Spectroscopy or PES is a topic included in the redesigned AP Chemistry curriculum. I have heard quite a bit of discussion surrounding this addition. It has caused panic in some teachers because they never learned it themselves, have never taught it before and/or they have no materials to teach the topic. I have been spending some time searching for a lesson plan for my own class
As we head back to school it is exciting to think about putting some new ideas into practice this year. As a high school chemistry teacher, my first days back are full of getting to know my students and building a safe, fun (at least sometimes!), positive learning environment.
Some students of mine and I have published two papers in the Journal of Chemical Education that describe how stunt people use chemistry to safely set themselves ablaze while filming action movie scenes. The secret behind this stunt lies in the use of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) gels. To pull off this trick...
Greg Rushton and I attended and presented at CHEMED in Waterloo July 28th through August 1st. We enjoyed the ice cream and frozen snacks at the JCE sponsored Ice Cream Social Monday evening. We presented JCE resources for AP Chemistry on Tuesday and JCE resources for General Chemistry on Wednesday. The resources and links from those meetings are linked here.
Summer is one of my favorite times as a teacher! Like most teachers I like to take a little time away from school, but, once I've rested a bit, its my favorite time to do research as well. I encourage you to take time this summer to explore labs and activities that you think may work for your classroom, but just didn't have time to examine with your busy teaching schedule.
I’d like to report on one of the end-of-year research projects that two of my general chemistry students completed during class this year.
Wow! A very neat experiment, called “Hydroglyphics”, published by Kim, Alvarenga, Aizenberg, and Sleeper in the Journal of Chemical Education allows you to transform a common plastic Petri dish into a unique teaching tool to demonstrate the difference between hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. Check it out in the video.
I came across a simple, yet interesting experiment that was first described by Elizabeth Sumner Walter in 2001. She merely had students pour water into a dish containing some Gobstoppers candies.
Inquiry is a fluid concept. There are some truly fabulous activities on Grand Valley State University's Target Inquiry (TI) website (www.gvsu.edu/targetinquiry). Yes, I am biased as I was part of the first TI cohort, but there are several labs now that were written later and they, too, are terrific.