Chemis-trees revisited

students celebrate a christmas with chemistry

Science classrooms around the world celebrate in the spirit of chemistry with different forms of “chemis-trees”. Not only a break from regular class work and an opportunity to apply their art skills, this is an occasion to showcase the awesomeness of chemistry in your school.

 Here are some ideas and hints to make your festive learning experience a success!

  • To be fair — choose topics from a hat.
  • To inspire students to create beautiful ornaments, hold a class or school competition to vote on ornaments — except their own — to go on the tree. This adds to the care and attention to detail and also encourages peer learning.
  • Get as technical as you want. Choose or combine a focus on electron orbitals, angles, resonance, multi-valence bonds, polarity, creativity or humour.
  • You can select to make it an activity to apply knowledge or introduce a topic. An application opportunity can be incorporated by students finding the stability of their molecule, as well as determining where it can be found in everyday life.    

For grade 12, it is perfect for VSEPR. Assign shapes, e.g., AX5E and let them create it. Provide categories where students must provide the info. For example if AX4 is selected from the hat, students may choose to create methane.

For grade 11, it is an opportunity to cover the history of the atom theory, nuclear reactions and periodic table trends.

chemist tree christmas tree