Department of Chemistry
200 University Ave. W
Canada N2L 3G1
Ryleigh Barta, a grade 11 student from Jeannette Gobolos’ chemistry class at Lake City Secondary School in Williams Lake, British Columbia captured the ‘Whoosh Bottle’ demonstration in this photo.
The methanol accident described by Mr. Jansen was actually years in the making. In my opinion these types of accidents are the direct result of the reduction in students’ exposure to handling chemicals due to the continued removal of chemicals and apparatus in the high school. These decisions are made by those “who know better” — the school trustees and supervisors.
Have you had to teach outside of your comfort zone? I have. When I began teaching at Taylor’s College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in April, 1986(!), I was thrown off the deep end. Fresh out of teachers college, I was assigned senior calculus and chemistry classes at a high-level school whose mission was to prepare matriculating students for university study abroad.
Now I don’t presume to think you and I think alike. However, as a teacher, I can’t think of a more rewarding experience than when I am witness to the “light bulb moment”. You know the light bulb. Sure you do. When a student “gets a concept” — actually gets it.