I was recently drawn to an article published ASAP in JCE entitled Application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics To Explain the Working of Toys. Erick Castellon wrote the article highlighting the use of three toys that are used to help students develop an understanding of the second law of thermodynamics and entropy by having them observe the working of the toys and the energy transfers that occur while playing with them. I already had two of the toys, the radiometer and the drinking bird. I ordered the stirling engine from the link provided in the supporting information. As I waited for the stirling engine to arrive from Japan (which was only a few days) I attempted to write an activity to guide my students to conceptual understanding as they worked with the toys.
high school chemistry
A student of mine, Anthony Shepherd, and I worked together to develop a new chemical riddle. How do you think we performed the experiment in the video below?
I am honored for the invitation to write for ChemEd X and am looking forward to being part of this collaborative chemistry teaching community! I’m Shelly Belleau, a Chemistry and Physics teacher in Colorado.
Endothermic and exothermic reactions and processes are a common topic in chemistry class. This activity provides examples that can be done with household materials.
A quick google search will allow you to find many laboratory activities for making ice cream in chemistry class. Some of the links provide questions to incorporate into the activity. I have used several over the years and will share my modified version here.
I’m looking forward to this year’s National Chemistry Week even more than usual. The 2014 theme “The Sweet Side of Chemistry” offers an opportunity to share the chemistry of candy, a super high-interest topic.