Physics teachers have AAPT, biology teachers have NABT, and starting this fall, chemistry teachers will have AACT. We are happy to announce that the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) will be accepting charter members starting on Aug. 4 at BCCE in Grand Rapids, Mich. But if you aren’t attending BCCE, you can join AACT by visiting teachchemistry.org on Aug. 4, and you’ll still have the status of charter member.
Chemistry classroom accidents have been in the news too often recently. I hazard to suggest that there are smaller incidents that never make the news because there are luckily no serious injuries. We need to be vigilant in our safety concerns to protect our students and ourselves from any accidents and exposure to hazardous substances. We also need to be aware of theft concerns. Unfortunately, students may be looking for ingredients to experiment with explosives or to manufacture illicit drugs.
I was at a chemistry teacher workshop recently and we participated in a common Hess’s Law laboratory. Part of the procedure required us to measure about 2 grams of solid NaOH and add it to 100 mL of 0.5 M HCl. We also added 50 mL of 1 M NaOH solution to 50 mL of 0.5 M HCl solution. We then compared the energy change of both containers.
Will you be attending BCCE 2014? There is still time to register! This is one of the best opportunities for high school chemistry teacher professional development. Grand Valley State University BCCE organizers have worked to make this year’s BCCE an affordable and valuable experience for high school level teachers. High school teachers may register at the reduced rate of $210 ($350 for regular attendees). If you are attending, I hope you will consider attending our ChemEd X Workshop. We will provide training to those interested in contributing their ideas with our community of educators. See the workshop abstract below. I hope to see you in August!
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.
Have you ever thought about the ways we, as chemistry teachers, talk about the concept of energy? Think about all the different terms we use when we talk about the role of energy in our curriculum: endothermic, exothermic, heat, specific heat, heat capacity, enthalpy, temperature, kinetic and pot
It's interesting to me how a word can define a class. The longer I teach, the more excited and quickly I can cover a concept. However, this pace does not necessarily fit well with my students, so we have a code word: Traxoline (thanks to Judy Lanier).
I am excited with my student's response to offering an ACS ChemClub at our high school! ACS does a great job of providing materials and ideas for meetings.
I recently spoke with a chemist from industry that said that if she admits to being a chemist, it is a serious conversation ender. I can relate! I know many of you can to. My colleague, Greg Rushton, shared a similar sentiment in an article introducing himself to the JCE community.
ACS is offering an upcoming webinar highlighting safety called "Tales, Investigations, and Lessons Learned". The role of the US Chemical Safety Board will be defined. Root cause investigations of chemical accidents will be reviewed. Tips on how to prevent chemical accidents will be reviewed.
Details: The webinar will take place February 20, 2014, 2-3pm ET, Registration is FREE.