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
This November issue is dedicated to Carey Bissonnette, who sadly passed away in May of this year. Many of you will remember him as the Chem 13 News Exam and Avogadro Exam coordinator as well as for his series "Tough Questions." We have included a heartfelt tribute by Bill Power, Chair of Waterloo's Department of Chemistry, a reprint of Carey's Tough Questions series, as well as tributes from readers.
Students, teachers, and chemistry enthusiasts from 15 countries around the world submitted 327 original portraits of Mendeleev, which were then used to create a larger mosaic portrait of Dmitri Mendeleev himself.
Isobel Everest, Bedford Girls' School, Bedford, UK - also known as @crocodilechemist on Twitter - sent in this cover photo of art created with droplets of colourful indicators. Read more about how she did it, plus see more of her artwork in this month's cover art feature.
Many years ago I attended an ASM Materials Science Teachers’ Camp in Ottawa that covered polymers, ceramics, metals and composite materials. During one session they discussed how western society had lost the Roman recipe for concrete after the empire collapsed.
Author: David Robinson, Toronto District Christian High School, Woodbridge, Ontario
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.
Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, known for his influential paintings, his ingenious use of cubism and for inventing the technique of constructed sculpture. He was an exceptional artist of his time and painted not what was admired by the world, but what he saw. He was an abstract painter, just as chemistry is a very abstract topic that comes in many shapes and explanations.
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.
Using the camera on her phone, Chloe Hoang, a student at Hilliard Bradley High School, Hilliard Ohio captured these glowing flowers under black light. Teachers Courtney Goodwin and Jennifer Kieffer organize monthly Chemistry Club meeting.
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.
I co-instruct and coordinate an undergraduate materials and nanoscience (MNS) lab at the University of Waterloo. One experiment in 2nd year consistently stands out as my students’ favourite, and it involves the synthesis and characterization of “capped” cadmium selenide (CdSe) “quantum dots” (QDs).
This photo shows the combustion of magnesium inside a block of dry ice, a demo performed at the University of Waterloo Science Open House Chemistry Show as part of National Chemistry Week. Although dry ice is very cold (-78 °C) and CO2 is used in some fire extinguishers, Mg (once ignited) will undergo a redox reaction with CO2 to produce MgO and carbon. This dazzling reaction produces a very bright glow and lights up a darkened room. Photo taken by Martin Schwalbe.
Honors chemistry student Dominick Leskiw took a succession of photos of the spontaneous combustion of potassium permanganate and glycerin. This was an end of the year activity, and the demonstration revolved around discussion of redox reactions.
Susan Yochum from Seton Hill University, Greensburg PA sent in photographic proof of the effects of surface area on a combustion reaction. The dramatic result of spraying lycopodium powder through the flame of a candle is captured in the photo!