Picks

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe

https://xkcd.com/thing-explainer/

How did someone figure that out? Can you explain to me why this happens? No matter the topic, individuals are always seeking information as they look to explain complex objects and theories. “Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words” by Randall Munroe uses only one thousand of the most common words to explain various inventions and phenomena in the field of physical science.

Argument-Driven Inquiry in Chemistry: Lab Investigations for Grades 9 - 12

argument driven inquiry

I have been on a mission lately to make scientists out of my students. I am long past my fears that they are not capable of discovering the world for themselves or that they won’t learn the content if we spend too much time on science practices. What I have to work on now is orchestrating the experience. The pedagogy underlying Modeling Instruction has become the backbone for much of my instruction lately. This method of instruction not only gives my students an engaging, authentic scientific experience but has resulted in deeper content knowledge.

Interactive Bonding Resources from PBS

PBS

One of the resources we have vetted is an interactive slideshow from PBS on both ionic and covalent bonds.  Teachers using Modeling Instruction will find these resources elucidate a model of electron behavior which adds to the particle story of matter we have been telling throughout the year. 

Why I think I love Atomsmith...

I first stumbled upon Atomsmith at Chem Ed 2015. Totally loved the way you could pop up a number of molecules on the big screen and move them around. They had really cool stuff like showing and modeling phase changes with water. They demonstrated the ability to show quantum orbitals in which you can see all of the clouds combined and then separate the electron clouds into individual orbitals. I was all set to jump in feet first and then my heart sank...they had it on everything but chromebooks (which is what we use at my school). The presenter suggested that I contact the good people at Atomsmith. They have been working on an online version that runs on chromebooks.

Catching a Wave, by Brian Greene

Smithsonian April 2013

Scientists are sitting on top of the world after detecting gravitational waves for the first time.  Now what?

Self-Healing Concrete

Typically we think that the wear and tear of automobiles on the roads causes concrete roads to deteriorate, eventually causing potholes and requiring the use of patching. Regular maintenance, like patching, gets expensive over time. If we were to zoom in on a microscopic level we’d see microscopic cracks that allow in water, salts, and ice. Since ice has the ability to expand, the tiny little cracks will become big noticeable cracks.

When am I ever going to use this????

f you go to this site on Etsy (Que Intersante. Where Geek Meets Art) you can get a great project for you kids for not too much money.  Essentially what this site sells are Crayon labels. 

"The Stress Test", by Dana Goodyear

Rivalries, intrigue, and fraud in the world of stem-cell research. This "inside story" from some of the most prestigious biochemistry laboratories in the world can provide grist for any course on ethics in modern science.

The Murky Mystery of Matter Measurement

Target Inquiry

This week I did "The Murky Myster of Matter Measurement" by Chad Bridle. Basically, students are working at making a series of predictions and measurements concerning the mass, volume and ultimately density of two different types of beads.