Especially for High School Teachers


It is based on an- thocyanins, the ... ence or engineering in their post-high school education— ... However, it is likely that there are many other ...
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Chemical Education Today

Especially for High School Teachers

by J. Emory Howell

October Articles of Interest Articles that appear to be most useful in high school or pre-high school teaching are indicated with the pyramidal logo in both the table of contents and In This Issue. Products of Chemistry feature articles explain the chemistry of everyday, familiar materials. The feature is edited by George B. Kauffman, California State University– Fresno. “Chem-Is-Tree”, by Dana Barry, is a Products of Chemistry article that can serve as a useful source of information about the compounds found in wood and woody plants. Useful products that can be obtained from wood, the pulping process, and the resistance of wood to solvents and chemicals are all discussed in the article. This article should be a useful resource in helping to establish links between chemistry, biology, technology, and economics. This month’s tear-out JCE Classroom Activity (pages 1176 A and B) is closely related to trees. It is based on anthocyanins, the substances whose colors make fall so beautiful in many parts of the country.

Some Highlights from ChemEd ‘97 ChemEd ‘97 provided great opportunities for sharing information and developing networks among high school teachers, thanks to superb planning and work by Co-Chairs Rena Benedict and Pat Richards, a host of volunteers, and the many presenters. The Creighton University Players’ Melodious Musichemical Manifestation on Saturday night provided a great start to the conference. The Players are a group of talented students and faculty who perform demonstrations choreographed to music. On Sunday night Bob Becker, who was the Reg Friesen Honorary Lecturer, provided a superb demonstration program. Early risers enjoyed the Mole Day Breakfast. Four days were filled with workshops on a wide variety of topics useful to teachers. JCE was represented with a booth in the exposition hall and with a workshop on “The Joys of Sharing through the Pages of the Journal of Chemical Education”. Thank you to each individual who stopped at the booth or attended the workshop. A special thanks goes to Eleanor Siegrist, Hollidaysburg High School (Pennsylvania), who shared with those attending the workshop her experiences in preparing a manuscript.

The Non-Traditional Student Ideas for teaching non-traditional students—first-year chemistry students who are not planning to major in science or engineering in their post-high school education— were shared by several presenters. Three examples: Meg

Getting the Most Out of JCE There are lots of ways that you can become involved in making JCE more effective. One is to write a paper. If you have an idea for a manuscript I would be happy to discuss it with you, and so would the high school feature editors. Another is to review papers. To volunteer please send your name, postal address (preferably both school and home), telephone, and email address (if available). We also are open to your suggestions. Are there topics that you would like to see addressed? Let us know.

Secondary School Feature Article

t Chem-Is-Tree, by Dana M. Barry, p 1175. Anderson’s “Tough Concepts Require Concrete Approaches”, Irene Walsh’s “Let’s Concretize”, and David Williams’s “Learning and Reinforcing Chemistry Concepts through Large and Small Group Activities”. There were many more excellent presentations devoted in part or entirely to teaching these students. Rose Davidson, Chesterfield, Missouri, conducted a “Chem Comm Confab” as means of sharing approaches and concerns in teaching the non-traditional student. In addition to a productive and lively discussion session, Davidson surveyed those in attendance to determine practices in place. She is interested in increasing the size of the population survey. If you would be willing to participate in the survey, contact Davidson by email: [email protected] (or send a note with your name and address to me and I will forward it to her). Discussion both at High School Day in San Francisco and at the ChemEd ‘97 JCE workshop also focused on teaching the non-traditional student. School administrators, counselors, parents, and community leaders perceive a need for scientific knowledge as preparation for careers in a technological society. As a result, enrollment in chemistry classes has reached unprecedented numbers. Often, however, these students do not believe they are interested in learning science and do not see it as related to their own career goals. Many of these students are enrolled in Chem Comm classes, but many others are served through traditional courses. Because of the large number of non-traditional students enrolled in chemistry classes, JCE would like to feature a theme of approaches that work in high school classrooms.

What Information Would Help You? What would you like to see in articles written by high school teachers about teaching non-traditional students? Some possibilities include hands-on activities, lab work, microscale activities, different methods of assessment, using the internet, and outreach activities with the students. However, it is likely that there are many other topics which you would find useful. I would like to hear from you. I can be contacted through any of the paths shown with my name on the JCE Masthead (p 1146). Share Your Experience If you have developed an innovative approach, a new laboratory activity, or an alternative method of assessment, for courses that serve non-traditional students, please consider preparing a manuscript. I would be very happy to look at a draft or an outline in advance of formal submission. Your innovation may be exactly what a teacher located a half-continent distant is looking for to energize her teaching. It is Your Journal.

Happy Mole Day!

Vol. 74 No. 10 October 1997 • Journal of Chemical Education

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