BCCE: Day 4 and 5 Recap

I got wrapped up in my excursion to WV, so I’m just getting around to posting about the final days of BCCE.

WV is BEAUTIFUL, by the way.

New River Gorge

Day 4 was a big inquiry day. Most of the talks I saw in the morning were a part of the Target Inquiry program out of Grand Valley State University. They’re teacher-created guided inquiry activities that cover almost all of a first year chemistry curriculum. Their materials are available for free to teachers. If you’re looking to move from cookbook to inquiry, the materials are a great place to start.

While none of the activities really jumped out at me, there was one nugget that I might be able to apply: using universal indicator with alka-seltzer reaction (or perhaps baking soda/vinegar) at different temperatures to compare CO2 solubility. Not sure where that will fit, but something I’ve never considered.

The afternoon symposia on Day 4 were mostly “ho hum.”

Day 5 was surprisingly quite interesting. A couple of the talks dealt with finding a balance between traditional and inquiry-based approaches in lab. Though presented for a college audience, I got some good ideas for modifying my Mg/Al/Zn-HCl lab. Also, a good framework for a possible dead-week practical:

Produce x pieces of experimental evidence that a piece of metal is not aluminum

Main take away from BCCE2012: Modeling Chemistry needs a strong presence at BCCE 2014 (and ChemED 2013)! While I stumbled upon a few modelers at this conference, there were no presentations about modeling chemistry. Even if you don’t do modeling chemistry, you should consider sharing some of your best practices at an NSTA, ChemED or BCCE conference.

ChemED 2013 is at University of Waterloo. I hope to see you there!

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