Sad about Tokyo? Have your own “Olympics” at home!

The Tokyo Olympics may have been canceled, but you can bring the Olympic spirit to your own home or classroom with this fun/competitive estimation activity. Not only does this activity help students practice their measurement skills, but it also provides an opportunity to use the metric system like “real” scientists do.

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Are chemicals dangerous?

Students think of “chemicals” as things that are dangerous, kept in bottles, and only accessed at special times for special experiments. I have found this idea that “chemicals” are dangerous to be so pervasive, I decided to start my chemistry (matter/energy) units with an activity about what chemicals really are and whether or not they are dangerous.

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Atomic models….and many dead white dudes

The concept of the atom – a smaller part that makes up everything – seems so self-obvious to those of us “in the know” that sometimes it can be difficult to remember that atoms are not something students regularly think about or contemplate. Nevertheless, we must teach about atoms and, even more than that, the smaller parts that make up atoms.

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