September 2017

Featured Article

Chem of color 330

Resource Feature

Introducing the Chemistry of Color: A Resource Collection

This article highlights a set of lessons developed by a team of content writers, sponsored by PPG, using color as a general theme. The lessons use chemistry to explore various aspects of the science behind paints and coatings.

Resource Features

Lessons by teachers with their inspiration for the activity or tips for how to implement the lesson.

Resource Feature

​Increasing Student Comprehension of VSEPR Theory​ Vsepr 220

In the activity described in this article, students construct physical models of molecular shapes. However, students are not told what the preferred arrangements of electron pair domains are. Instead, they derive the arrangements. Students are given the opportunity to conceptualize what is happening when one electron pair domain acts upon another, and to understand how those interactions result in the molecular geometries predicted by VSEPR theory. As an outcome of examining the physical basis of the VSEPR model, students should have a much better grasp of the implications of electron pair repulsions on molecular shape, and should be better able to understand, communicate, and apply that understanding.

Classroom Commentary

Reflections and perspectives by teachers about topics that affect chemistry education.

Classroom Commentary

One Teacher’s Journey on the Path to Modeling Instruction Modeling journey 220

This article describes a teacher’s journey and reflections over her 27-year career as she moved from a traditional chemistry classroom to one using modeling instruction techniques. To illustrate a central insight she gained along her journey, she describes one activity in particular, Sticky Tape. In this activity, students find evidence for charged particles smaller than an atom, and the discussion after the activity ultimately leads them to the subatomic particle we know as the electron. Making the move to incorporating modeling instruction transformed the author’s classroom and teaching style, and her students are now much more engaged in their own learning.

Nuts & Bolts

Functional tips you can implement in your classroom.

Nuts & Bolts

Helping Students Use their English Language Skills Helping students use english skills cover photo 220

This article describes five assignments and projects that are aimed to help all students improve their English language skills.


Nuts & Bolts

Embracing Chemical Literacy Chemical literacy 220

Chemical literacy has been a journey and a struggle — both of which the author has enjoyed. The struggle has ultimately improved her teaching, and in this article, her intention is to share ideas for improving the chemical literacy of students in various ways.

In My Element

Stories about teachers finding their way to the chemistry classroom.

In My Element

Something Happened on My Way to Becoming a Rock Star… Michelle wynn headshot 220

A teacher shares her story about her unconventional path to teaching chemistry. Read about a once-hopeful Broadway star who began college as a music major eventually evolved into a passionate high school chemistry teacher.

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Editorial

Editorial

Lift as You Climb Lift climb editorial jenelle sept2017

AACT President Jenelle Ball highlights many of the exciting benefits of AACT membership as the organization approaches its third year in existence. She encourages members to get involved, and also promotes many of the valuable resources and opportunities that AACT makes available. Jenelle shares her own plan for incorporating resources in her classroom this year, and also offers suggestions about how teachers can use the wide variety of benefits to enhance their own teaching.

Simulation

Simulation

Measuring Volume Simulation measuring volume 1

In this simulation, students will participate in a 10 question quiz. The quiz questions are each made of two parts, with the first part requiring the student to analyze an image of a graduated cylinder in order to report an accurate measurement. Students must use the correct number of digits based on the markings presented on the cylinder when reporting the measurement. In the second portion of the question the students will determine the uncertainty value of the graduated cylinder, again by analyzing its markings. The simulation is made up of several different sizes of graduated cylinders, each containing unique markings, so students will be challenged to analyze each individually.

Chemistry Fun

Chemistry Fun

Lise Meitner Video Activity Meitner thumbnail final

In this activity, students will complete a short series of questions as they watch the Founders of Chemistry video about Lise Meitner. The video tells the story of Lise Meitner, a pioneering female scientist in the field of nuclear chemistry, who was denied a Nobel Prize but has an Element named in her honor.

Teacher 2 Teacher

@AACTconnect asked:

You Answered:

"I do a breakout to make my students learn where all the safety equipment is and learn the safety rules. It's fun and builds on teamwork."
@Mrpchemistry

"We do a safety drama. All of the students have lines and actions to do. They stay engaged and I am able to stop and add more information after each vignette. "
— Julie Hahm

"We jigsaw the Flinn safety contract in groups, and each group picks a rule to make a poster out of. Then they present it, I add on important other things of note from their section, and then I put the posters on the wall for the rest of the year. Some posters remain for several years because they are so good! "
— Nora Walsh