Some students of mine and I have published two papers in the Journal of Chemical Education that describe how stunt people use chemistry to safely set themselves ablaze while filming action movie scenes. The secret behind this stunt lies in the use of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) gels. To pull off this trick...
Summer is one of my favorite times as a teacher! Like most teachers I like to take a little time away from school, but, once I've rested a bit, its my favorite time to do research as well. I encourage you to take time this summer to explore labs and activities that you think may work for your classroom, but just didn't have time to examine with your busy teaching schedule.
Call for Symposia and Workshops for the 23rd BCCE at Grand Valley State University – Greener on the Grand: Empowering Chemical Educators for a Greener Tomorrow, August 3 – 7, 2014
I’d like to report on one of the end-of-year research projects that two of my general chemistry students completed during class this year. If you’d like read more about these end-of year research projects in general, click here.
Wow! A very neat experiment, called “Hydroglyphics”, published by Kim, Alvarenga, Aizenberg, and Sleeper in the Journal of Chemical Education allows you to transform a common plastic Petri dish into a unique teaching tool to demonstrate the difference between hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. Check it out in the video.
I came across a simple, yet interesting experiment that was first described by Elizabeth Sumner Walter in 2001. She merely had students pour water into a dish containing some Gobstoppers candies. I showed this experiment to some of my college chemistry students while they were working on a different laboratory experiment.
Inquiry is a fluid concept. There are some truly fabulous activities on Grand Valley State University's Target Inquiry (TI) website (www.gvsu.edu/targetinquiry). Yes, I am biased as I was part of the first TI cohort, but there are several labs now that were written later and they, too, are terrific.