Like many schools, this year my school went 1:1. Each of our students was issued an 11 inch Chromebook with a webcam. Our upperclassmen have the the older Samsung models with a front-facing webcam and our underclassmen have the new Lenovo N22/23 models with a flippable webcam. I am a “jump in head first” type of person so I decided to go completely paperless this year. Now that I am halfway through the year (and still paperless!), I wanted to share what has been working well for me and where the snags have been.
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Whether you are looking to add a bit more scientific inquiry to your labs or simply looking for a great stoichiometry lab that can be added to your collection, I encourage you to try something like this with your students!
In the embedded video, I will walk you through a kinetics experiment we use in our Chemistry 2 (and Honors Chemistry 2) courses. The lab is called Disappearing X.
Celebrating Ninety-Five Years
The January 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: exploring magnetic properties; examining outreach practices; spectroscopy; understanding chemical changes over time; laboratory curriculum reform; teaching scientific communication; analytical chemistry activities; biochemistry laboratories; 3D printing molecular models; from the archives: chemistry outreach.
The focus of this article will be on how to incorporate the first science and engineering practice, asking questions, into your chemistry instruction. The most common professional development technique I have encountered regarding this practice is Question Formulation Technique (QFT).
One of my goals for 2017 was to read more chemistry non-fiction. I accomplished that with three and a half books read. That doesn't seem like much, but given how busy I've been lately it was quite an accomplishment! I offer a brief review of my most recent book here, "The Alchemy of Air" by Thomas Hager.
If you have never attended a BCCE, I offer some reasons to change that this summer. The conference will be in Notre Dame this summer. Please vote for the topic that you would like me to develop my presentation about.
The science behind the incredibly popular Scrub Daddy sponge is investigated. Part of the appeal of the Scrub Daddy sponge is that it changes from soft to hard depending upon temperature. This allows a single sponge to be transformed into a hard scrubber or soft sponge, depending upon the temperature of water into which it is placed.
I am sad to relay that Alex Johnstone died just before Christmas at age 89. I have written a short tribute to him because although I never knew him, he helped me make sense of why most of the time we fail, and that when we succeed... it is a triumphal moment!
I feel like every year I face the same old dilemma. It starts with an idea in mind of what and how something should be taught. This idea is fine until it is discovered that students this year are different than students last year. The idea is changed or “tweaked”. The process is feels similar to having to “reinvent” the wheel each year. This gets exhausting.