Blogs

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

Blogs at ChemEd X reflect the opinions of the contributors and are open to comments. Only selected contributors blog at ChemEd X. If you would like to blog regularly at ChemEd X, please use our Contribution form to request an invitation to do so from one of our editors.

ChemEd X swag
by Deanna Cullen
Thu, 07/20/2017 - 13:11

ChemEd X is preparing for CHEMED 2017! If you are attending the conference, we hope you will stop by our booth in the exhibit hall and introduce yourself.

Recent activity: 2 days 11 hours ago
glow sticks and filter paper
by Tom Kuntzleman
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:33

I recently watched a video in which a chemist (who goes by the nickname “NurdRage”) activated a chemiluminescent reaction by vapor deposition. I wanted to try it out for myself! Unfortunately, oxalyl chloride is toxic, corrosive, and a lachrymator. Thus, the experiment conducted by NurdRage needs to be conducted in a hood, and it is not particularly amenable to simple presentations. I began to wonder how I could create this vapor activated chemiluminescence using simple materials.

Recent activity: 1 week 4 days ago
author wearing nerdy shirt
by Ariel Serkin
Sun, 07/09/2017 - 17:02

Over the past 30 years, numerous articles have been written about the importance of student teacher relationships. The National Education Association, NEA, offers advice for beginning teachers that includes establishing the classroom climate, conducting class efficiently, and reaching all students. When teachers effectively connect to their students, discipline problems decrease and student engagement increases.

Comments: 1
Recent activity: 1 week 3 days ago
Color-changing straw
by Tom Kuntzleman
Wed, 07/05/2017 - 09:30

In Chemical Mystery #10, plastic straws are observed to “magically” change color when waved in the air. Check out the explanation and the video.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago
the demo in action
by Tom Kuntzleman
Fri, 06/30/2017 - 15:11

In this simple trick, colors are made to "magically" appear and disappear on a straw. This science experiment is very easy to do...if you know your chemistry!

Recent activity: 2 weeks 3 days ago
roles and teamwork
by Chad Husting
Fri, 06/30/2017 - 13:23

I saw the process of students thinking like scientists but what I struggled with, and I imagine many others do as well, is how students work together in groups. Yes...I know it is important but is this a big battle that I want to fight? I was fortunate to meet several people who have developed some wonderful “tricks of the trade” to help students work as “teams”.

 

Recent activity: 2 weeks 5 days ago
I love Chemistry bumper sticker
by Chad Husting
Mon, 06/26/2017 - 15:39

POGIL stands for "Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning". Over the years I have accidentally and somewhat intentionally been using POGIL activities. Students must work in teams, examine models and answer questions that become more complex based on the models and students hopefully build knowledge. I have had my ups and downs. It has been messy. Bottom line...here is what almost always happens...I eavesdrop on students talking like scientists. It is student centered and the comments would never come from students if I sat back and lectured. Somehow, I wound up at this conference for "advanced" POGIL practitioners. I am trying to keep it a secret that I have never really been advanced at anything and am hoping that by the time anyone figures this out the conference will be over.

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 2 weeks 5 days ago
organizing laboratory equipment
by Doug Ragan
Mon, 06/26/2017 - 10:36

I decided to take the time and to do some needed inventory.  I wanted to match equipment to its designated table.  Next, I wanted to make sure that each of my eight lab tables had the proper equipment needed to eliminate no more missing equipment.  Sure enough, as I began the inventory project, I had several tables missing equipment, so once everything was laid out and counted and organized then I had to make sure it was going to stay that way.  I had several rolls of colored tape and it was easy to then begin marking each of the pieces of equipment and glassware with tape. 

Comments: 3
Recent activity: 2 weeks 6 days ago
ACS Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute Logo
by Ben Meacham
Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:19

Say the words standardized test to most educators and you will likely notice a minor gag reflex. While I completely sympathize with this reaction given the frequently labeled testing culture that’s been far too often forced upon us within the past 15 years, I think it is appropriate to take a step back and recognize the meaningful role a standardized test can have on our curriculum and instruction. After a recent experience using an exam from the ACS Division of Chemical Education Examinations Institute1, I was able to recognize that meaningful role. So, the purpose of this article is to provide useful information for anyone interested in the exam implementation process.

Recent activity: 2 weeks 1 hour ago
Apples
by Tom Kuntzleman
Mon, 06/05/2017 - 17:00

If rhubarb stem is placed in a solution of permanganate, the purple permanganate ion is reduced to the colorless Mn2+ ion. It is thought that the oxalic acid present in rhubarb causes this reduction. The investigations presented in this post provide evidence that this may not be the whole story...

Comments: 2
Recent activity: 1 week 2 days ago