JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Photoelectron Spectroscopy PES

Photoelectron Spectroscopy or PES is a topic included in the redesigned AP Chemistry curriculum. I have heard quite a bit of discussion surrounding this addition.  It has caused panic in some teachers because they never learned it themselves, have never taught it before and/or they have no materials to teach the topic.  I have been spending some time searching for a lesson plan for my own class

Holding Fire in the Palm of Your Hand

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...

CHEMED 2013 in Waterloo


Greg Rushton and I attended and presented at CHEMED in Waterloo July 28th through August 1st.  We enjoyed the ice cream and frozen snacks at the JCE sponsored Ice Cream Social Monday evening.  We presented JCE resources for AP Chemistry on Tuesday and JCE resources for General Chemistry on Wednesday.  The resources and links from those meetings are linked here.

Soccernomics: Why Transfers Fail, Why Spain Rule the World and Other Curious Football Phenomena Explained, by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski

Lots of us learned about percentages and statistics by studying batting averages, and many of our students are passionately choosing players for fantasy leagues in various sports. Is it possible to find methods for the evaluation of players in soccer using methods similar to those in "Moneyball"? This question and many others are addressed in "Soccernomics"

Inquiry For AP Chemistry

Vegas 2013 AP

I attended and presented at the National AP Conference in Las Vegas on July 18th and 19th! Adding Inquiry to the course is one of the major changes to how we will teach AP Chemistry.  I shared some resources and gave tips during my presentation. I am sharing those resource in this post.  I am also sharing items that I found especially helpful from presentations that I attended and conversations I had with other teachers. 

ACS High School Chemistry Day in Indy


The American Chemical Society is hosting a special High School Chemistry Day for teachers at the ACS Fall National Meeting in Indianapolis, IN,  on Sunday, September 8-12, 2013. Presentations will explore new methods of teaching, classroom tools, resources, activities on a range of topics. A special High School/College Interface Luncheon will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and network.  See the ACS High School Chemistry Day Web site for details and/or download the flyer.

The Thermodynamic Sinks of this World by Roald Hoffman

Nobelist Roald Hoffman usually chooses an intriguing topic for his regular contributions to the Sigma Xi bimonthly, American Scientist. For the current issue, he has chosen to examine the question, "What would be the result of mixing a collection of the elements we find on earth and its nearby environment and heating them up enough to encourage them to react?" This "Gedankenexperiment"

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

One of the pioneers in digital media and networks is disquieted by the dominance of the digital landscape by a few Siren Servers, who capitalized not on their superior products or expertise, but solely on their ability to extract a profit from each of the bits that make up Big Data. He thinks we all should be paid for our contributions, or at least the system be changed so as to provide incentives real contributions.