The April 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: environmental chemistry; curriculum innovation; redesigning courses; representation in chemistry textbooks; public understanding of chemistry; teaching with models; visual and aural demonstrations; teaching chemistry with inks and pigments; examining the chemistry of beer; synthesis in the laboratory; improving student understanding of analysis; instrumentation; chemistry education research; from the archives: resources for celebrating Earth Week 2021.
What is the pressure inside a bottle of soda pop? Read this short article to find the surprising answer to this question, and also to learn how to do an experiment to answer this question for yourself!
This experiment in chemical kinetics can be conducted using materials as simple as a smartphone, hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate solution, and blue food dye! The experiment is useful when discussing the order of rate laws with respect to reactants.
Several resources are available to support teachers as they incorporate science practices into their curriuculum. The author shares how he and his colleagues focused on improving their coverage of the practice of planning and carrying out investigations.
I just finished my first week of school, like many teachers in the Midwest. I work hard to get my Honors Chemistry students in a lab setting as soon as possible. It is difficult to find a perfect lab to do on the first or second day of school. In my mind, the ideal first chemistry lab would require no prior chemistry knowledge, involve interesting chemistry, address an NGSS standard, be relatively safe, not require expensive glassware or lab tools, and reinforce positive class norms. I have found engineering labs fit the bill! I don't know if I have found the "perfect" lab, but I have found something close I want to share!
In order for students to be fluent enough with the CCCs and core ideas to use them to support their arguments, we teachers need a way to help students become familiar with them.
I facilitate a working group of chemistry teachers in the New York area and we recently created our own activity surrounding the topic of oxidation. The goal of the probe was to force students to think about what the meaning of oxidation is, as well as to allow students to engage in the science and engineering practice of argumentation. This was an introductory lesson to my oxidation and reduction unit prior to students learning the terms oxidation and reduction.
At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a bank of released NGSS assessment items that we can draw from to use in our own classes, especially for traditional Chemistry classes. This means, that we as teachers may need to write some of our own assessment prompts to use in our classes.
For dynamic equilibrium, I like to use a physical analogy that pits students against each other in a classroom-wide “snowball” fight. Not only is this activity great for building students’ conceptualization of dynamic equilibrium, it is also really fun!
Like most concepts in chemistry, intermolecular forces takes a bit of imagination and critical thinking to fully comprehend and apply when explaining a variety of situations. Though demonstrating the presence of these forces in a simple and explicit manner can easily be done, I wanted to change how I introduced IMFs a bit this year by focusing on a more data-to-concepts approach.