Department of Chemistry
200 University Ave. W
Canada N2L 3G1
I always look forward to December when I can start displaying a Chemis-tree and other decorations in and outside the lab. I also enjoy sharing a different "Chemis-tree" carol each day. Author: Mrs. Vivian Templeton, Toronto District Christian High School, Woodbridge, Ontario
Our Science Department enjoys planning themed activities that correspond to different holidays. Last year we decided to make bath bombs with our classes on the last day of school before the winter holiday. This is an activity that is easy to set up, can be carried out in one class period, and has minimal clean up. Author: Angela Swartz, Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School, Baden, Ontario
In this article I explain a Chemistry Boggle game I have created for naming binary compounds as well asshare the printing 3D files for those who wish to print their own. Author: Roby Yeung, Nelson McIntyre College, Winnipeg, Manitoba
As educators over the past several years, we are aware that students are often challenged by certain concepts in the high school chemistry program. Authors: Peggy Au, Ernest Manning High School, Calgary, Alberta and Rachel Toews, Bowness High School, Calgary, Alberta
I found this activity in an old report from CHEM ED 95 and I was struck by how old this experiment was. Author: Jean Hein, Chem 13 News Editor, University of Waterloo, Ontario
Easter was approaching and we were finishing up a unit on bonding. Several of my students had seen a Pinterest post about dying eggs with shaving cream and pleaded, “Please do it”. Author: Jessica Zwaschka, Spearfish High School, Spearfish, South Dakota
Materials science is the study of our material world. It is using knowledge of the structure, bonding and properties of a substance to optimize its performance in a specific function. Author: Sarah Regli, St. John’s Kilmarnock School, Breslau, Ontario
Recently my students had the opportunity to see how plant pigment can convert light energy into chemical energy using the Flinn activity entitled Fantastic Fluorescing Chlorophyll. Students extract chlorophyll from spinach using a solvent and a centrifuge Author: Doug Ragan, Hudsonville High School, Hudsonville, Michigan
Which of the following are green? Author: Jean Hein, Chem 13 News Editor, University of Waterloo, Ontario
John Yohe from Pioneer Career and Technology Center (PCTC) in Shelby, Ohio shared with us on Twitter some fun photos of his student experience with The toothpaste challenge published in the September 2018 issue. Author: Jean Hein, Chem 13 News Editor, University of Waterloo, Ontario
The hydrogen-air explosion in a Pringles can is by now "an old favourite". For those of us who don't have access to a hydrogen cylinder, the most convenient way to produce the gas is by the reaction between zinc and concentrated hydrochloric acid. Author: Yehoshua Sivan, Safed, Israel
Heat flow and temperature control are important topics in chemistry and chemical engineering. In a recent paper in Chem 13 News one of us (CM) analyzed the cooling curve of hot water in an insulated cup as an example of a first-order process. Author: Charles Marzzacco (retired), Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island and Charles Pepin, Rhode Island College, Eau Gallie High School, Melbourne, Florida
One challenge as an educator is to not wear yourself out with mounds of paperwork while at the same time evaluating the understanding of all your students. One way we have found to formatively assess our students without creating extra paperwork is through a kinesthetic activity. Author: Catherine Zavacki and Anjana Iyer, Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough, New Jersey
The unit of acids and bases is difficult for most students in Advanced Placement Chemistry. The amount of various calculations can be overwhelming. I decided it was time to make the pH calculations more exciting — acid base speed dating! Submitted by Kristen Drury, William Floyd High School, Mastic Beach, New York
In this investigation, students will study the rate of burning of a candle as a function of the mass of the candle and as a function of the concentration, or partial pressure of O2(g).
When I first encountered a chemistree as a new teacher, I thought it was brilliant and naively, a new idea. I soon learned that this idea had been around forever — like so many other ideas. Last year Twitter helped me discover more chemistrees through an online competition
Yvonne Clifford describes how to use stamps to save time and have some fun grading!
Many chemistry students experience difficulty in grasping the abstract concept of electronegativity and its significance in discussions involving polar covalent and nonpolar covalent bonding.
Doug De La Matter used the following story to explain the ideas of chromatography to his grade 9 science classes. They seem to understand the concepts so well that it becomes a useful reference when we talk about solubility and intermolecular forces again in senior chemistry classes. I present it as a fable and embellish it with lots of spurious details.
Michael J. Welsh investigates the perfectly baked cookie by measuring the reflectance spectra as cookies bake.
A reprint from 1993 -- Gary Marcoux started this class with “Does anybody know what I have in this flask?” The students shuffle their feet and glance at each other, trying to see if anybody’s taking notes. “You know, I could have anything in here, anything at all”, I continue while holding up the flask. “This could be Aladdin’s Lamp.
I do the "egg experiment" in the third week of school; it follows activities involving the operation of the balance, the precision of volumetric equipment, methods for the determination of volume and the uncertainty of measurement. The experiment is to collect enough data to verify or refute the statement that "the density of a whole chicken egg is equal to the arithmetic mean of its parts — the yolk, the white, and the shell".
Tea: How to brew it, how to clean a teapot, and much more — the subject of an article in our recipe file. The ideas presented in the article (box below) relate to general chemistry, general physics, and plant biochemistry and could be useful in teaching general chemistry.
Use the following colours for each numbered flask
The beautiful eye image on the front cover is a microscale experiment, which is a combined effort of Andres Tretiakov, Kensington Park School and Bob Worley at CLEAPSS in the United Kingdom. This “puddle chemistry”, an affectionate term for microscale reactions in drops, takes place on a liquid crystal temperature sensor.
The beautiful eye image on the front cover is a microscale experiment, which is a combined effort of Andres Tretiakov, Kensington Park School and Bob Worley at CLEAPSS in the United Kingdom. This “puddle chemistry”, an affectionate term for microscale reactions in drops, takes place on a liquid crystal temperature sensor. The sensor is a wonderful visual aid for microscale reactions to show whether they are endothermic or exothermic.
Each of these terms can be rearranged to create a common name for an actual chemical with the given chemical formula.
To invert a test tube (or bottle, etc.) filled with water into a beaker of water, place a piece of filter paper on top of the brim-full tube, wait until the water has soaked into the paper enough to hold it on, then invert the tube and insert it into the beaker at an angle slightly off-vertical. Once the tube mouth is under water, the paper will float off.
The cover slime-stretching photo captures the result of students making their own products in our organic chemistry unit.
In order to inject as much pressure-release fun into the course for my students as I am able, I incorporate into my courses two big mole events. This allows me to celebrate the wonderful concept of the mole with both my grade 11s and grade 12s.
Throughout the past few years we have incorporated a variety of kinesthetic activities into our classroom instruction that allows the students to be up and out of their seats to learn and review content as well as create class cohesion.
This puzzle is a reprint from Chem 13 News from the 1970s. It was one of many safety articles by Nick Ozaruk, University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario. Shown is a sketch of a fictitious laboratory. It isn’t ours. However, there are conditions or actions that could result in accidents, some very serious. List the unsafe acts and/or conditions that you can spot in the drawing.
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo proudly announces the launch of our new Open-Science website: open.science.uwaterloo.ca. It provides freely available, interactive online lessons on general topics in high school chemistry curricula.
In the first week of classes I use the toothpaste challenge for my grade 12 university level classes. It is primarily a review for proper lab book protocols and reminds students to record data properly with both correct uncertainty and correct significant figures.
May 2018 cover
How great is it for students to get to experience working in the lab, all while creating a useful piece of lab equipment that can be used for the remainder of the school year? Within the first month of school, my 10th grade chemistry students perform a series of lab experiences. They practice techniques such as heating a test tube, reading a thermometer to the proper number of digits and — always a student favorite — making their own glass stir rod.
Every instructor will have one or two favourite demonstrations that they can adapt to a variety of student ages.
[This article comes from a blog called Sustainable School Teacher . I recommend you watch the blog’s 10-minute video because Brandie outlines her idea to introduce a hands-on approach to stoichiometry. Once you watch this video you will want to investigate her other ideas.
I have been fortunate to have attended two ASM Material Camps for educators. I knew after having attended the first day of Part 1 that I would be starting my new school year with a copious amount of relevant material. The material was presented in such a manner that I could easily go back to my classes and add to my repertoire.
Why does one attend ChemEd? Welllll (good Texas word!), one just never knows what is going to be shared. At this year's ChemEd in Brookings, South Dakota, at South Dakota State University, we suffered from curiosity.
This is a continuation of the Thought labs used as review for AP Chemistry. This style of review allows students to incorporate the skills they have acquired throughout their course experience in AP Chemistry while providing a platform for them to increase their comfort level in situations where they are asked to apply their learning to a new lab setting.
This is a continuation of the Thought Labs used as review for AP Chemistry. This style of review allows students to incorporate the skills they have acquired throughout their course experience in AP Chemistry while providing a platform for them to increase their comfort level in situations where they are asked to apply their learning to a new lab setting.
I give the following challenge as a take-home assignment. A pre-discussion can flesh out the need for a balanced, complete combustion equation and the need for the average formula for gasoline and its density. Teachers can decide on how much direction is needed for their students.
Ever wonder where the common "it's close enough" mentality has come from? How students can regularly grab an incorrect piece of equipment because it’s a tiny reach closer to them than the proper choice?
I am certain that all instructors have had discussions with their students about assumptions. When a new topic is introduced, it is impossible to completely cover all the various aspects, without resorting to a “simplification” to make it easier for the students to understand the topic.
This is a continuation of the Thought Labs used as review for AP Chemistry. This style of review allows to students to incorporate the skills they have acquired throughout their course experience in AP Chemistry while providing a platform for them to increase their comfort level in situations where they are asked to apply their learning to a new lab setting.
I have been in this business too long ...
The cost of everything keeps going up!
In Ontario Grade 11 Chemistry, students study percentage yield of a chemical reaction...
If you ask students in elementary grades to take a breath and then describe what they have taken in...
In our chemistry class we find it essential to connect the concepts throughout the entire year into one overall story. This activity is used as a bridge between the unit on intramolecular forces and the one on intermolecular forces...