I have taught for almost 30 years and have attended my fair share of professional development. Many of these have been very good (ChemEd, BCCE, ACS, NSTA, and ICE) but nothing has been as motivating, influential, and beneficial to my career as getting involved in the Chemistry Olympiad. Every year, the ACS sponsors a local section contest for high school students.
The new AP Chemistry Curriculum and the NGSS both focus on developing deep conceptual understanding. In order to achieve this, teachers must identify the objectives they need to teach to and stockpile a good assortment of conceptual questions for formative and summative assessments to support those objectives.
Given the amount of one reactant, students must use stoichiometry to find the ideal amount of the second reagent to use to create purple fireworks. The teacher ignites each groups' fireworks. Ideal mixture create little or no ash. Student assignment sheet with directions (and different initial amounts) plus teacher information and sample answers are included. This is an exciting and engaging activity that can be used as a stoichiometry quiz.
I am preparing to teach a "blended" chemistry course this fall and I admit that I am a little nervous. Students will be expected to access some of the course material outside of class. It will be very important that students preview materials and complete assignments.