Over the past two years, I have immersed myself in designing mobile games for organic chemistry: founding a company called Alchemie and building a team to develop these games. The first of our games is called Chairs! (The exclamation point comes from the fact that an app called Chairs already existed in the AppStore.) The game Chairs! is what we call our proof-of-concept. Folks were a bit incredulous when we told them we design games that make learning organic chemistry intuitive and fun.
In my previous blog post I described some problems I encountered when beginning my instruction on energy this year. From the misconceptions fostered by the biology textbooks using the phrase “high-energy phosphate bond” to idea that energy comes in different forms, the Modeling community recognizes the challenges of teaching the energy concept and has developed a way of talking about energy designed to help students construct a consistent and cohesive model.
Students choose a topic and select items to incorporate into a periodic talbe. Students explore trends related to their own topic and relate to the trends on the actual Periodic Table of Elements.
I provide my students 1 and 1/2 weeks to complete this project. Most students do not need this much time. I provide the extra time for those students who do not have adquate internet/computer access.