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, 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: 6 months 3 weeks 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 9 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: 6 months 3 weeks 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: 6 months 3 weeks 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: 4 months 2 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 9 months ago
by Bob Worley
Mon, 03/02/2015 - 15:51

(A look at workplace exposure limits found in MSDS sheets)

There is useful information in section 8 of a (Material) Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that teachers can use and shows how a knowledge of chemical equations and calculations helps protect the health of their students and themselves and helps to assure their employers and safety officers that teachers and lecturers are responsible and professional users of chemicals. 

Recent activity: 3 years 9 months ago
by Dan Meyers
Thu, 02/26/2015 - 14:26

Last year I came across a link on Twitter regarding an art installation by Roger Hiorns in England titled “Seizure.” Some of you may have seen it too – a condemned flat in London was essentially sealed off and filled with more than 75,000 L of supersaturated copper sulfate solution.

Recent activity: 3 years 9 months ago
by Deanna Cullen
Tue, 02/24/2015 - 18:02

The Modeling™ curriculum emphasizes modeling, collecting evidence, scientific discourse and development of conceptual understanding. All of these can be linked to AP and NGSS standards. If you are looking to make improvements in your curriculum and gain some impressive strategies, consider enrolling in a workshop this summer. There are many workshops scheduled around the country during the summer. A full curriculum and support materials are provided.

Recent activity: 6 months 3 weeks ago
by Lowell Thomson
Tue, 02/24/2015 - 08:15

Just the other day within my IB Chemistry HL classes, we were discussing the color of transition metal complex ions in solution. It's a bit imperfect, because they are not yet dissolved, but I set up a number of metal chloride salts in order to help students see the pattern. They are arranged according to the position of the metal in the periodic table. It ends up being quite obvious to the students that the only metal salts with color are in the d-block. I'm now in the process of ordering more chloride salts so I can complete the pattern even more the next time I teach this topic.

 

Comments: 8
Recent activity: 5 months 6 days ago