1 – 18 of 18 Articles
Classroom Commentary | September 2021 Finding Your Leadership Potential in Chemistry Education
As the pandemic closed the doors of schools across the nation, educators from across the world adapted to reach students in an uncertain world. Through the author’s journey in search of new teaching strategies, she gained insights into the importance of leadership in education — even after 14 years of teaching. In this article, she suggests that each teacher has something important to bring to the educational community, and that the current situation demands that new leaders emerge to help all of us reach our most vulnerable student populations.
Classroom Commentary | May 2021 A Green Opportunity: Recycling Agar from Diffusion Cubes
In this article, the author shares about a collaborative recycling opportunity that combined biology and chemistry. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, a chemistry teacher and an AP chemistry student worked together to develop a method for recycling a large surplus of pink agar that had been collected after its use in a biology diffusion lab. The science department worked together to develop a method to reuse lab supplies and promote sustainability.
Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Chemistry Semester Exam Redesign
In this article, the author shares about her experience redesigning a traditional multiple-choice chemistry semester exam to an authentic assessment for her Honors Chemistry students. Motivated to create an assessment made up of more thought-provoking questions, and encouraged by the style of the AP chemistry exam, she shares example questions, grading rubrics and overall feedback related to the redesign and implementation.
Resource Feature | November 2020 A Green Chemistry Guided-Inquiry Lab
In this article, the authors share insights about how they used a guided-inquiry lab about biomimetic preen oil to expose students to the topics of green chemistry and biomimicry, topics not commonly covered in high school chemistry curricula. While preen oil occurs naturally when birds secrete it to protect their feathers, it can also be created by reacting waste cooking oil in a blue cheese slurry, with the mold Penicillium roqueforti producing methyl ketones, an important antibacterial compound. The authors discuss the implementation and results of a guided-inquiry lab in which students design, test, and evaluate their own procedure using biomimicry and green chemistry principles.
Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Mole of Reaction: Application in Limiting Reactants
In this article, the author describes the use of mole of reaction in limiting reactant calculations in first-year advanced chemistry. In addition to describing how mole of reaction was used in limiting reactant calculations (including advantages and drawbacks), the author also describes how introducing mole of reaction in first-year chemistry impacts students’ subsequent use of this unit in AP Chemistry.
Resource Feature | May 2020 Using Escape Rooms in the Chemistry Classroom
In this resource feature article, the author describes her use of two escape room activities in the chemistry classroom. One activity was used in AP Chemistry as an assessment, while the other used in a first-year chemistry class as a test review. She shares her successes, challenges, and lessons learned, and encourages other teachers to try these and other escape room-themed activities in their own classrooms.
Resource Feature | March 2020 Designing a Greener Le Châtelier's Principle Lab
Are you interested in teaching core chemistry content with safer materials? This article discusses the importance of green chemistry and features a safer replacement to traditional Le Châtelier’s Principle labs, which often use hazardous chemicals that pose a risk to students and the environment. The concepts of Le Châtelier’s Principle can be effectively demonstrated using household materials of starch, iodine, butterfly pea tea, vinegar, and baking soda.
Classroom Commentary | November 2019 AP or IB: What’s the Difference?
The author is frequently asked questions about IB and AP chemistry, including, What's the difference? Isn't one chemistry course pretty much like any other? Based on his experiences, he provides a brief overview of the AP and IB Chemistry programs, and outlines some similarities and differences between the curriculums, laboratory experiences, and end-of-course exams.
Resource Feature | November 2018 Taking Inspiration from the AP Chemistry Reading
In this article, the author describes how her experience at the AP Chemistry Reading inspires lesson ideas to help address common misconceptions. In her engaging classroom activity, students model equilibrium reactions using chips to represent atoms in an effort to connect the symbolic model of an equilibrium reaction to its particle model.
Nuts & Bolts | September 2018 Designing Effective Multiple-Choice Items in Chemistry
Multiple-choice questions are frequently used in both formal and informal assessments in order to determine if students have mastered specific learning objectives. This article discusses the characteristics of multiple-choice items as well as some guidelines for writing them. It is possible to design multiple-choice items that emphasize conceptual understanding and critical thinking skills. The creation of high-quality assessments can provide useful information about student learning and help teachers make important decisions about instruction.
Resource Feature | September 2018 Chemistry of Lightsticks: Determination of Activation Energy, a Guided Inquiry Approach
Lightsticks, with their eerie glow, capture the interest of students of every age. Capitalizing on this, the authors describe how they developed and used a guided inquiry approach to help students determine the activation energy of the chemiluminescent reaction in a lightstick. They also describe how they used a Vernier LabQuest 2 system, while acknowledging that any data collection system that allows simultaneous collection of data from light and temperature probes may be used instead. In addtion, they explain how they employed the natural logarithm form of the Arrhenius equation and spreadsheet software.
Classroom Commentary | September 2018 Reflections of an AP Chemistry Exam Reader
This article describes a chemistry teacher’s experience as a Reader for the AP chemistry exam. She shares some reflections, pointers, and insights to help guide other AP Chemistry teachers in hopes of helping them prepare their students to achieve mastery on the exam.
Classroom Commentary | May 2018 The AP Chem Exam is Over - Now What?
This article discusses a short course in computational chemistry, designed for AP Chemistry teachers and students, primarily to be used for chemistry enrichment following the completion of the AP Chemistry exam.
Classroom Commentary | May 2017 Read! But Read the Right Things
Contemplating some summer reading? The author shares his thoughts on two books that are rich in details about the progression of science, and also explore more important, fundamental insights about the discipline.
Tech Tips | March 2017 Using Virtual Labs to Enhance AP Curriculum
This article uses several topics related to the AP chemistry curriculum, such as general equilibrium and thermodynamics, to illustrate how virtual lab assignments and activities can be designed to enhance the AP chemistry curriculum and meet specific learning objectives.
Nuts & Bolts | March 2017 Peer Instruction for AP Chemistry
Peer Instruction has been described as a research-based teaching method that leverages the power of social interaction to drive learning. PI can be a powerful tool for helping students learn the challenging concepts that are integral components of AP Chemistry. This article summarizes the process of PI and research that supports it, and provides guidelines for writing quality multiple choice questions.
Nuts & Bolts | September 2016 Starting off on the Right Foot
Want to hit the ground running as a new AP chemistry teacher? While there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to tackling the delivery of an AP chemistry course, here are ten basic things you can do to help yourself before the school year gets underway.
Classroom Commentary | November 2014 AP Chemistry for All
AP Chemistry should be open to any student who meets the bare-minimum prerequisites and is willing to take on a rigorous, challenging course.