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.

by Tom Kuntzleman
Tue, 10/27/2015 - 15:27

You can perform an orange to black chemistry demonstration using materials commonly found in stores. The reaction appears to be similar to the Old Nassau reaction, but uses greener reagents. This is a great demonstration to do around Halloween time.

Recent activity: 1 year 1 day ago
by Chad Husting
Sun, 10/25/2015 - 19:32

There is a hydrate lab which is done by many teachers. Typically, students first use a known hydrate and are provided the formula.  As an example, they might use CuSO4 . 5H2O.  On paper, they would work through the percent by mass of water in copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate.  They then would be given a mass of the copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate, calculate how much water they should lose and then they would heat it and compare the data with the calculated value. Next, they are given an unknown hydrate.  They are also given the molar mass of the unknown salt of the hydrate and they have to calculate the molar ratio of salt to water based on their data.  Here is one possible way to “tweak” this lab.

Recent activity: 1 year 5 days ago
by Sarah Kong
Tue, 10/20/2015 - 08:50

Every October I get excited; not as much for halloween, but rather for Mole Day! I have been a member of the since the beginning of my career and enjoy celebrating with my students. My first year of teaching we (the chemistry classes) hosted

Recent activity: 1 year 5 days ago
by Chad Husting
Mon, 10/19/2015 - 13:35

We, as teachers, can see that life is sometimes like this and we care enough about our students that we want to try to prepare them for careers and problems that we can’t even imagine….because we believe that good education can empower people to go further and reach higher than they could ever dream….and maybe the journey we will  start together begins with a simple question in which the answer may not seem immediately obvious...and that is O.K….

Comments: 1
Recent activity: 1 year 5 days ago
by Erica K. Jacobsen
Fri, 10/16/2015 - 16:01

Does the phrase “Especially for High School Teachers” ring a bell? Journal of Chemical Education readers may remember this feature from past issues. Could it be time for its return, with a twist?

Recent activity: 1 year 5 days ago
by Dan Meyers
Fri, 10/16/2015 - 15:01

Common drain cleaners consist of water, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and sodium hydroxide (base) and/or potassium hydroxide (base). Bases are caustic (caustic loosely means to gnaw or eat away at) and can cause corrosion in metal pipes. Wouldn’t you know, our house has PVC piping through the fixtures that dump into a 45 year old cast iron pipe. The cast iron pipe is old and currently shows signs of surface rust and corrosion to the point where the pipe appears to be leaking then sealing itself in several spots. Not to mention the interior of the cast iron pipe may not be completely open, thus, not permitting a fast flow in drainage. Good news: a home warranty is being taken advantage of to hopefully replace the cast iron pipe with a PVC pipe.

 

Recent activity: 2 months 2 weeks ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Tue, 10/13/2015 - 13:01

A few years ago, we launched a weather balloon during our summer science camp. The balloon reached an altitude of 30 km (100,000 ft)! Among other things, this project ended up being a great way to teach campers about the gas laws and how atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude. 

Recent activity: 1 year 5 days ago
by Chad Husting
Sun, 10/11/2015 - 19:49

We all have plans. As teachers we plan every week and worry about time, depth, amount, types of assessment and state mandates. Most importantly, are the kids learning? We give it our best shot. Sometimes, we have to go to plan B.
     

Recent activity: 4 years 2 months ago
by Michelle Okroy
Sun, 10/04/2015 - 16:00

 Instead of focusing on an instructional label, why don’t we focus on what we are trying to accomplish with our students? Our classrooms should be a platform for students to actively explain science practices using evidence and no matter how you define your instruction, we cannot deny our students this opportunity. With the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, our students will be assessed based on performance expectations that not only link disciplinary knowledge, but scientific practice, and crosscutting concepts as well. “These performance expectations guide the development of assessments: when a standard encompasses all three strands, then so must the assessment. It will no longer be possible to meet a standard solely by recall of factual knowledge.” (Cooper, 2013).

Recent activity: 4 years 2 months ago
by Chad Husting
Sun, 10/04/2015 - 10:51

What you are going to read here is the brief story of an attempt by one teacher to "flip" things. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.

Recent activity: 15 hours 37 min ago