During our recent chemistry summer camp, we used some electrochemistry activities. We had some logistical issues, but they were an overal success!
My goal with this summer camp was to expose students to the chemistry of things around us - plants, food, batteries, fuel, etc. Fortunately, by studying plant pigments and photosynthesis, students were able to learn about and utilize common lab techniques.
Oh summertime! My non-teacher friends and neighbors like to point out that it must be great having summers off from work. I try to explain that I’m still working although it’s really nice having a break from the students. And I know that a lot of colleagues in my PLN on Twitter are enjoying their break from students too while still spending some time working on upcoming challenges and curriculum designs.
Extending and Deepening Student Understanding
The June 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/92/6. This issue includes articles on curriculum; assessment; inorganic chemistry; investigating galvanic cells & exploring LEDs; atomic structure; nanochemistry laboratories; physical chemistry in the lab; synthesis.
I am teaching this summer and it is especially exciting as I am piloting the labs I wrote this spring. We are using these labs exclusively and I am collecting student feedback for each lab to help in the editing, refining, and revision process.
In a previous blog post, I shared my thoughts about the importance of science teachers (and all teachers, really) supporting their claims about lesson efficacy with evidence. While this doesn’t always need to be a formal research study, it can often be valuable to publish findings that will be helpful to other science teachers.
Teaching the Relevance of Chemistry
The May 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/92/5. This issue includes articles on drugs & pharmaceuticals; health; food; plants; exploring viscosity; new approaches to teaching organic chemistry; computer-assisted learning; scents & flavors.
Chemists Celebrate Earth Day
The April 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available for subscribers at http://pubs.acs.org/toc/jceda8/92/4. This issue features articles on atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Also featured in this issue are: microfluidic devices; problem solving strategies; information literacy; kinetics & thermodynamics; investigations of gases and organic synthesis; outreach.
The juice from an orange peel causes a balloon to pop. When I first saw this effect I immediately thought to myself, “what is the chemistry involved in this experiment?” After quickly searching the web, I found several claims that a compound in orange peels called limonene (Figure 1) is responsible for this effect. Limonene is a hydrocarbon, which means that molecules of limonene are composed of only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Limonene is responsible for the wonderful smell of oranges, and it is a liquid at room temperature.