Michael Jansen reflects on a very common empirical formula lab that asks students to determine the empirical formula of MgxOy. He then explains how he continues to use it as a "successful failure", how he demonstrates an alternate procedure and leads his students to an important lesson.
A lab practical with an escape room story turned out to be a great final exam.
Beautiful, metallic mirrors of copper or silver can easily be formed in test tubes. Simply add the appropriate metal salt to a test tube, and heat! These reactions should be performed in a fume hood.
Chad Husting shares a microscale Reactions Lab and outlines his goals and plans for labs in his classroom as he prepares for next school year.
The authors revisit "flattening the curve" demonstrations published during 2020 to see how they could represent the impact of vaccinations on the COVID 19 battlefront. These demonstrations do not demonstrate the mechanisms of vaccines themselves, but are rather analogies to their potential effect on a population. In these analogies, gas production still represents illness, but this time people are represented by objects added to the solutions which either enable gas production (unvaccinated individuals) or do not enable gas production (vaccinated individuals). These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations, and links to videos are included in this writeup.
The Types of Chemical Reactions Lab is a favorite for many teachers and students. Chemistry comes to life as students record observations. This virtual version by no means replaces the students physically conducting the reactions themselves but during these times this activity can be used to supplement the teaching of chemical reactions.
Many teachers have students draw models and diagrams to help them illustrate how matter behaves. Teachers can uncover and address possible misconceptions quickly using this strategy. The author describes how to create interactive particle diagram activities that are easy for students to use online. This strategy is applicable to almost any particle diagram and should be useful for teachers during virtual lessons.
The Ruben's Tube (also known as a Flame Tube) is a classic experiment used in physics classes. There's also a bit of chemistry to be learned while experimenting with a Ruben's Tube...
As teachers, we can leverage fruitful discussions about chemical control with students to elicit more about students' initial ideas and ways of reasoning. From asking students to clarify their own thinking, we can identify students’ own productive ideas that we can capitalize on to advance their thinking.
In honor of the International Year of the Periodic Table: A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students. Iodine is the fifth in this series of elements to be discussed as part of the Element of the Month program. #IYPT