March 2017 ChemEd X Newsletter

The March newsletter highlights just a portion of the material that has been published at ChemEd X during the past month. Whether you are exploring this new content or searching through past content for ideas related to a specific topic, we encourage you to log in and engage in the conversation. If you have tried an activity, let us know how it went. If you are not confident about something that is new to you, the authors will be happy to answer questions and coach you. If we don't have the resource you are looking for, we can solicit our ChemEd X community for help. Please use our contact form to communicate with us.

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
Albert Einstein


Julia Winter - Teacher & CEO

At the spring 2016 ACS National conference in San Diego, Julia Winter was awarded the prestigious James Bryant Conant award for excellence in teaching high school chemistry. Watch the video to hear her reflection on teaching and also hear about her new adventure in the tech world.


Developing a High School Food Chemistry Elective

Whether you are interested in developing a food chemistry elective, just looking for a few food related activities to add to your general chemistry course or you would like to use food chemistry as a theme for your ACS Chem Club, STEM club or other outreach activities, this blog post provides a wealth of information, suggestions and resources that will be useful.


LED lights and the Periodic Table

Every LED light has a "band gap". Electrons are pushed into an empty orbital which is negative and then the positive end of the circuit attracts the electrons. As they go down in energy through the band gap, they emit light. The larger the band gap, the more energy, the smaller the wavelength and the closer to the "blue" end of the spectrum. So, the key is to try to control the band gap and thus control the color of light. This lab activity takes into account that the greater the ionization energy and the greater the electronegativity, the larger the band gap and the higher energy photons.


Boiling Water, Heating Curves, and Can Crushes

The author shares a lesson plan for relating the symbolic, particulate and macroscopic levels related to the process of phase changes. He has gathered resources from several sources and included a couple of new twists to this traditional topic.


Chemical Investigations of McCormick's Color From Nature Food Colors. Part 1: Sky Blue

McCormick & Company, Inc. has recently released Color from Nature food colors, which are advertised as “colors made from plants, vegetables, and seeds.” A box of Color from Nature contains three packets of powdered dyes: Sky Blue, Berry (red), and Sunflower (yellow). The author purchased a box from a local store and spent some time investigating and experimenting with these dyes. He includes videos of his experiments. Also check out Part 2: Berry.


AP Chemistry Lab Notebook Structure

The author shares the notebook structure and rubric she has used with her AP chemistry students. She includes detailed notes including how she includes claims, evidence and reasoning in the structure.



Especially JCE - March 2017

Erica Jacobsen regularly highlights JCE articles that are of special interest to high school teachers. This month, she highlights two freely available commentaries related to writing in chemistry. If you would like to explore the whole issue in more depth, check out Mary Saecker's JCE 94.03—March Issue Highlights.


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