Monday, July 29, 2013

ChemEd13 Lab Workshop: Exploring Chemical Reactions, Bringing Chemistry to Life

Let's face it, chemistry teachers are happiest in the lab!

Today I taught a workshop for chemistry teachers at ChemEd13 on my favorite lab of the year:  Classifying Chemical Reactions.  This is a lab that I have adapted from a Flinn Scientific book; each year implementing small changes.  In the latest edition I added instructional videos embedded into the lab handout for my students to watch while conducting the lab.  This year I finally felt that the lab was "done enough" to present at ChemEd.

I had a good turnout of teachers for my workshop this morning, on Day 1!  These enthusiastic teachers dove right into the lab.  Once we finished the lab stations, I taught the group how to do a series of demonstrations that go along with the unit.  I encouraged teachers to try the demos for the first time.  Even Michaela, my new colleague, got into the act by performing the "Singing Flame Tube" demo today for the group.  It was great fun to share some of my favorite chemical reactions here at ChemEd13.  Thanks to the wonderful folks at the University of Waterloo for providing all the chemicals and equipment for my workshop.

These teachers are writing the chemical reaction for what they just saw.

His first time lighting the famous Whoosh Bottle demonstration

Learning how to do the classic "Death of a Gummy Bear" demo.

My new colleague, Micaela, burning magnesium ribbon.
Jean and I at ChemEd in 2007.
ChemEd is a wonderful opportunity for chemistry teachers from all over the world to come together to share ideas and learn from each other.  I love coming out for this fun conference because it's great to be around so many people who love to teach chemistry!  One of my favorite parts of ChemEd is connecting with my chemistry friends.  Here's a picture of my good friend Jean Hein during my first trip to ChemEd in Texas six years ago.

These chemistry teachers are working through the 8 lab
stations for the Chemical Reactions Lab