high school chemistry

Finding Flash Rocks

Flash rocks were discussed in a previous post as stones made of quartz that produce light by triboluminescence when struck together. This post provides some description of their origins and tips on how to find them, making connections to some of their properties.

Apply for the 2023 PAEMST Cycle

The 2023 cycle for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching has opened. Read through to learn more about the application, the process, some helpful tips, and reasons why you should apply.

Using My Marbles: Connecting Surface Area and Calorimetry with Temperature Curves and Thermochromic Cups

The importance of surface area can be illustrated by adding spherical solids at known sizes and temperature to other substances at different temperatures and then monitoring the rates of temperature changes of the system over time. Larger spheres (with less surface area per sample) exchanged heat with water more slowly than smaller spheres, and less thermally conductive glass spheres exchanged heat with water more slowly than iron spheres. Additional, more colorful demonstrations are described in which small glass spheres cool thermochromic plastic cups more quickly than larger glass spheres. 

Seawater Chemistry and Global Trade: Part 4

Continuation of the practical application of chemistry to seemingly something unrelated- global maritime trade. In this classroom activity students predict the buoyancy (and hence stability) of a merchant cargo ship based on interpretation of seawater surface salinity values. Like in the first three posts, the question types are conceptual. 

Seawater Chemistry and Global Trade: Part 3

This is the third post in a series dealing with seawater chemistry and global maritime trade. This classroom activity introduces the concept of salinity and tasks students to predict the range of salinities in certain regions of the ocean (coastal and open water, all four hemispheres, high and lower latitudes). Enjoy...

Lessons from the Early College High School Model

Early Middle College High Schools are growing in popularity. They are an alternative public high school program where students earn up to 60 college credits while completing their high school diploma. Here, the author describes some lessons learned while teaching at an early college program that helps prepare students for college and careers.