I have been teaching AP Chemistry for 13 years and every year I have multiple weeks of instruction following the AP Chemistry Exam. I have tried many different ideas for instruction during those weeks. In years past I have taught introduction to organic chemistry and/or nuclear chemistry. I have hosted tie dye labs and sun dying labs. We have created bouncy balls, ice cream, slime and shrinky dinks. The list goes on. More recently I have had students research a chemistry topic of their choice, create a presentation, and present it to the class via interactive lesson or poster boards. I have heard of other teachers who have their students put on demonstration shows for their peers or visit elementary schools and perform labs and demos with young students.
This year our district chose the second administration of the AP Exam and I have far fewer weeks to play with, along with remote and in person students, computer limitations (my school district is not 1:1), and general apathy as the year is ending. So I came up with a fun new project for my class, “Create a Game: Shark Tank Presentation.”
Each student or student pair (I allow them to decide how they would like to work) create a chemistry game idea that future AP chemistry students could play to refine their chemistry skills and content knowledge. The game should be creative and could either mock an existing game or preferably be a completely new idea. Due to monetary, computer, and time limitations, students don’t actually have to create the entire game, they just come up with the gaming concepts in order to pitch it to their peers in class. The peers will choose to “fund” certain games for production. The game with the most funding will be winning a “very valuable prize” of fun chemistry inspired gifts I have accrued. Requirements include a list of game rules and materials like the insert for a board game, at least 10 game chemistry examples with answers at an AP level, an explanation about how to win the game, as well as a creative approach that engages game players.
After designing the game for a few days and creating the insert and any other materials, the students have to create and present their sales pitch for “Shark Tank”. Students will have up to 4-5 minutes to explain the major concepts of the game and then an additional 2-4 minutes for questions and answers. After all presentations are completed, peers will “fund” their chosen games and evaluate the presentation via Google Forms. The presentation may include handouts of the game insert, a poster board explaining the game, a PowerPoint/slide deck presentation, a video presentation or “commercial” (mostly for remote students) and an example of game play.
I am excited to start these projects and look forward to sharing some student work on Twitter. Follow @APchemisme to see some projects as they are completed in June. Also, please consider sharing any ideas you have about this project or any other after-exam ideas on ChemEd X.