Boston Teacher Program 2018

August 19–20, 2018

Enjoy two days of programming focused on middle and high school chemistry education at the ACS National Meeting in Boston, MA. The planned presentations are below. Check back regularly as more information about this program and other programming becomes available.

Chemistry Teacher's Day – Morning Session

Location: Waterfront Ballroom 1/2, Seaport World Trade Center | 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Symposium Organizers: Sherri Rukes and Ariel Serkin

  • Introductory Remarks
  • Chemistry science investigation: Dognapping. A workshop to inspire STEM students
    Timothy Boyle, Bernadette Hernandez-Sanchez, and Jeremiah Sears
    A ‘Chemistry Science Investigation: Dognapping’ workshop has been designed to: (i) target and inspire 3rd - 5th grade level students where they will view themselves as “Junior Scientists” before they enter middle school when career decisions are made, (ii) enable hands-on experience in fundamental scientific concepts, (iii) increase public interaction with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics personnel by providing face-to-face opportunities that cannot be achieved in a classroom, (iv) give teachers a pathway forward for scientific resources, (v) meet the New Mexico K–5 Science Benchmark Performance Standards, and (vi) most importantly, have FUN! Survey results (before, after, and longer) indicate that after attending the workshop, the information presented on several key scientific concepts is retained for up to 2 months. This workshop has been performed over 12 years and won a 2015 ChemLuminary Award for Outstanding Kids & Chemistry Program. This talk will describe the program in detail.
  • Chemistry in Three-Dimensions (of NGSS): Connecting Ideas, Practices, and Concepts - with Data Collection
    Thomas Loschiavo
    The Three Dimensions in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) incorporate Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Cross-Cutting Concepts. How can we take a tough topic, like stoichiometry or gas laws, and create Three-Dimensional activities that are engaging, relevant and instructive? Data collection and molecular visualization can help.
    When students collect and analyze data during experiments related to Disciplinary Core Ideas, they are already incorporating a Science and Engineering Practice. Once they have the data, they can do so much more! They can look for patterns and trends, identify cause and effect, construct mental models, and engage in argument from evidence. As they become more comfortable with the data collection and analysis tools, students will be able to ask relevant questions and carry out their own investigations – paving the way for student-led inquiry.
    Join me in this session as we perform hands-on activities and see how data collection and molecular visualization tools can connect the dimensions of NGSS leading to deeper understanding and meaningful learning.
  • Development of the flame test concept inventory: Measuring student thinking about atomic emission
    Stacey Lowery Bretz and Ana Vasquez Murata Mayo
    This study reports the development of a 19-item Flame Test Concept Inventory, an assessment tool to measure students’ understanding of atomic emission. Fifty-two students enrolled in secondary and postsecondary chemistry courses were interviewed about atomic emission and explicitly asked to explain flame test demonstrations and energy level diagrams. Analysis of students’ explanations offered insight into students’ alternative conceptions and were used to design items and distractors for a 19-item Flame Test Concept Inventory about atomic emission. Results from a pilot study with first-year university chemistry and with upper-division chemistry students were analyzed to create a final version of the inventory that was administered to both secondary students (N = 459) and first-year university students (N = 100) who had completed formal instruction and course assessment about atomic emission. Analysis of student responses indicated the inventory generated valid and reliable data. Common alternative conceptions about atomic emission that remain post-instruction and their prevalence are discussed.
  • Pathways to entrepreneurship in sustainability and chemistry
    Stafford Wheeler Sheehan
    A typical early stage company in chemistry used to require high upfront costs, extensive intellectual property (e.g. pharmaceutical start-ups), and was inaccessible to an aspiring entrepreneur working out of their garage. This is in contrast to the origin stories built around mainstream disruptive tech companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Snapchat, or Dropbox that seem much more accessible to everyone as bringing to market simple solutions to everyday problems. Younger generations are placing emphasis on social responsibility and sustainability in career and consumer decisions, which brings about new market opportunities for business models that address relevant pain points. As this trend continues, we will discuss how chemistry and chemical education becomes more approachable and relevant to entrepreneurs building environmentally and socially sustainable companies.
  • Experimenting with algae in the classroom
    Andrew Potter and Sherri Rukes
    Using algae in the science classroom provides a broad range of educational opportunities. Students can investigate how environmental variables such as water chemistry, light properties and pH can affect cell growth and biochemistry (eg. pigment and lipid content and composition). While working with algae students will not only use the scientific method to design and carry out an experiments but they will also gain hands on laboratory experience using microscopes, spectrophotometer and other available equipment. Algae Analytics has developed an easy to use and cost effective experimental kit for growing and quantifying algae in the classroom. This presentation will examine some of the potential uses for algae in the classroom and demonstrate the process of setting up algae bioreactors.
  • Lab practicals as common summative assessments
    Christopher Koutros
    Teachers face many challenges when trying to use labs as authentic summative assessments. Novel procedures, data quality, timing constraints, and safety are potential hurtles to using lab practicals. This presentation will discuss strategies used to introduce lab practicals as common assessments in a Chemistry I public high school curriculum. Formative vs. summative assessments, technology integration, and student survey results will be discussed. Attendees will engage in example lab practical experiments and discuss ways to incorporate them into their teaching.

Chemistry Educators Luncheon

Location: Waterfront Ballroom 1/2, Seaport World Trade Center | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Chemistry Educators Luncheon brings together educators from different levels with the goal of facilitating an exchange of ideas and networking between teachers. This activity is organized and sponsored by the ACS Education Division and Division of Chemical Education (CHED).

If you are register for the meeting as a pre-college teacher, DO NOT purchase a ticket to the luncheon. Your lunch ticket is included with your registration fee.

Chemistry Teacher's Day – Afternoon Session

Location: Waterfront Ballroom 1/2, Seaport World Trade Center | 1:00 - 5:00 PM

Symposium Organizers: Sherri Rukes and Ariel Serkin

  • Assessing student growth in chemistry using standards based grading
    Michael Chapman
    With many educational institutions reflecting on how to best assess student knowledge and skills, standards based grading (SBG) provides a nice alternative to the traditional points-based system. SBG has the potential to change the way educators look at assessment, and can be utilized in a variety of ways to help support the understanding and mastery of content and skills. However, there are a number of pitfalls and issues that come along with the use of a new system. During this presentation, you will hear about one teacher and school's journey using SBG, and how it has impacted student growth and development in the realm of chemistry. Hopefully, you will leave with some tips on how to implement this system into your own classrooms, and use SBG as a platform for an even greater discussion about what is important for students to know about chemistry.
  • Inquiry lab into the nature of color: student design and discovery
    Heather Zimmer
    In this talk I will share an inquiry lab that was developed as an introduction to the chemistry of color. This lab came into being in response to a lively student debate on the first day of class as to whether color was an intensive or extensive property. Rather than answer the question for them, I invited them to design experiments to test their theories and their work was so exciting I made it into a laboratory resource for the AACT. Using Vernier Spectrovis probes, we will design experiments that allow us to study how the different properties of what we call 'color' do and don't depend on the amount of chemical in solution, and thus refine our understanding of color and a gain a new appreciation of just how limited human perception can be.
  • More "bang for the buck": Short laboratory activities to explore multiple concepts
    Sharon Palmer
    AACT provides a variety of ways in which K12 teachers can share a broad selection of chemistry lessons and activities. Teachers can search for lessons and activities to illustrate chemistry topics suitable for all grade levels. One activity that I submitted involves demonstrating the temperature dependence of the solubility of gases in water utilizing Alka-Seltzer tablets. Students explore the solubility of CO2 in water using bromothymol blue indicator to determine the pH of the solutions, conducting semi-quantitative titrations of solutions prepared by dissolving Alka-Seltzer tablets in warm and cold water. In this manner, one activity easily conducted in one classroom period, utilizing generally available and safe materials, illustrates the topics of solubility, intermolecular forces, acid-base chemistry, indicators, and titrations.
  • Discovery learning: development of a unique active learning environment for introductory chemistry
    William Lacourse and Laura Ott
    In common with other colleges and universities that teach chemistry in large lecture classes, UMBC has historically had too many students who are unsuccessful in introductory chemistry classes. The traditional model of teaching used in these classes relies primarily on faculty lecturing to students, with minimal active participation by the students. A highly regarded alternative to the lecturing format is to change the focus of the classroom from teacher-dominated to student-centered, using a constructivist approach. By this concept, learners actively take knowledge, connect it to previously assimilated knowledge and make it theirs by constructing their own interpretation. The teaching philosophies and techniques of constructivism comprise a teaching approach of intimately connecting the meaning of the lesson with student experience. Thus, students are encouraged to organize and analyze information, and teaching strategies are tailored to student understanding. This model is premised on (i) students being actively in learning, (ii) students learning by constructing knowledge, (iii) students learning from each other. Students then learn the process skills necessary to acquire and apply knowledge, to succeed in the workplace, and to become life-long learners.
    It is well established that active learning results in greater gains in student conceptual knowledge and retention compared to traditional modes of teaching. However, active learning can be very difficult to implement in a large-enrollment course due to various course and institutional barriers. Herein, we describe the development and implementation of Discovery Learning, a novel active learning recitation for a large enrollment general chemistry course. Drawing on the very successful cooperative learning pedagogies Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) and Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP), Discovery Learning involves students working in self-managed teams on inquiry problems in a unique learning environment, the Chemistry Discovery Center. In this presentation, we will describe the design and implementation of Discovery Learning and report data on its successes, which include increased student performance and retention.
  • Chemistry is out of this world!
    Karen M. Kaleuati
    Prepare for National Chemistry Week 2018 with activities connecting space to chemistry. Explore surface tension, spectroscopy, materials testing and more that show the chemistry of and in outerspace. Druing this presentation, you'll get hands-on experience with some activities so you'll be ready for October 21-27.
  • Metal-organic framework nanospheres for smart drug deliver
    Chia-Kuang Tsung and Allison Young
    We have developed a general synthetic route to encapsulate small molecules in monodisperse zeolitic imid-azolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) nanospheres for drug delivery. Several small molecules, including fluorescein and the anticancer drug camptothecin, were encapsulated inside of the ZIF-8 framework. Evaluation of fluorescein-encapsulated ZIF-8 nanospheres in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line demonstrated cell internalization and minimal cytotoxicity. The 70 nm particle size facilitates cellular uptake, and the pH-responsive dissociation of the ZIF-8 framework likely results in endosomal release of the small-molecule cargo, thereby rendering the ZIF-8 scaffold an ideal drug delivery vehicle. We demonstrated that camptothecin encapsulated ZIF-8 particles show enhanced cell death, indicative of internalization and intracellular release of the drug. To demonstrate the versatility of this ZIF-8 system, iron oxide nanoparticles were also encapsulated into the ZIF-8 nanospheres, thereby endowing magnetic features to these nanospheres.
  • Organizing chemistry instruction around scientific models
    Teresa Marx and Erica Posthuma-Adams
    Both the Next Generation Science Standards and the College Board include use of models in their essential science practices. What is a scientific model? How can chemistry teachers organize instruction to teach students how to develop and use scientific models? During this interactive session, attendees will participate in a hands-on activity to collect and analyze data, develop an evidence-based model, and test that model in other conditions. Presenters will provide an overview of Modeling Instruction pedagogy and practices; share benefits and challenges of model-centered teaching; and offer resources help teachers adopt a more collaborative and student-centered classroom.

Teachers of Chemistry Reception

Location: Skyline, Seaport World Trade Center | 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

After a day of hands-on activities and presentations, join other teachers, as you eat, drink and talk about more chemistry!

Reception hosted by:

From nano to macro: How to let students discover the applications of materials

Location: Waterfront Ballroom 3, Seaport World Trade Center | Time: 1:30 - 5:30 PM

Symposium Organizers: Sherri Rukes

  • From nano to macro: A make and take session of multiple demo aids
    Sherri Rukes
    Learn how to make a few learning aids and demonstration devices for your chemistry classroom. Demonstrations relate from nano to marco ideas of chemistry. All levels of chemistry can use these ideas. Learn how you can implement budget-friendly classroom demonstrations, labs, and activities to teach fundamental chemistry topics in your classroom.
  • Using nanotechnology to teach high school chemistry concepts
    Sherri Rukes
    Learn how to make a few learning aids and demonstration devices for your chemistry classroom. Demonstrations relate from nano to marco ideas of chemistry. All levels of chemistry can use these ideas. Learn how you can implement budget-friendly classroom demonstrations, labs, and activities to teach fundamental chemistry topics in your classroom.
  • Playing with "nano-blocks" enables learning about environmental applications of nanotechnology
    Anjali Mulchandani, Ariel Atkinson, Sergi Garcia-Segura, and Paul Westerhoff
    Nanotechnology education for both students and the public is key to workforce and technology advancement and technology acceptance. Traditionally, nanotechnology is taught using aspect ratios to relate concepts of size and scale, e.g. one nanometer is 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair. However, this does not lend to easy comprehension of why unique properties arise from making something small.
    To fill the need for better education materials explaining the nanoscale and its associated properties, we have developed a hands-on activity using pedagogies of game-based learning and concept visualization that can be adjusted to comprehension level (K-12, general public, undergraduate). The goals of the activity are: i) demonstrate how surface area to volume ratio (SA:V) impacts sorption capacity; ii) introduce nanotechnology and nanoscale phenomena; iii) describe applications of nanotechnology for sorption of contaminants; and iv) demonstrate core concepts of adsorption isotherm modeling. In the activity, pompoms, representing sorbates such as contaminants in water or air, “adsorb” to Velcro-covered blocks, representing sorbents. Students compete with their choice of sorbent, one large cubic block or 8 small cubic “nano-blocks,” both having the same unit volume, to see which sorbs more pompoms. The nano-blocks collectively have enhanced adsorption capacity due to higher SA:V.
    Following the activity, the unique properties of nanomaterials related to size and scale are introduced. If instead of cutting the large block into 8 pieces, we cut 1 billion(109) pieces on each face, we would make nanoparticles (1027 pieces). The blocks and pompoms are used to describe applications of nanotechnology, e.g. carbonaceous nanomaterials have 30x higher sorption capacity for organic matter in water compared to granular activated carbon. Undergraduate classes can take the activity further to discuss adsorption isotherm modeling. Experiments are performed varying the “pompom concentration” to obtain data for the equilibrium adsorption capacities of the sorbents. Applying the Langmuir isotherm for monolayer adsorption graphically shows that the nano-blocks, as a representative of nanomaterials, are superior sorbents when compared to their large micro- or macro- counterparts. The nano-blocks activity is a great tool to visualize scientific concepts, and understand how nanotechnology is used and why it is beneficial for materials and environmental applications.
  • Biomimicry: Inventions and innovations inspired by nature
    Eric Nash and Sarah McCarron-Stewart
    Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that derives inspiration from the natural world. Learn how biomimicry innovations act as tools to capture the minds of the next generation of problem solvers while weaving in NGSS. This visual hands-on activity opens the door to discussing how biomimicry can offer scientists ideas and strategies to solving environmental design challenges. It is chemistry that provides the tools to invent and create the solutions to our current unsustainable products and processes. Teachers and students alike both delight in this interactive and engaging activity that brings these innovative ideas, designs and applications to life.
  • Microscopic mycelium: Growing sustainable design solutions
    Raksmey Derival and Eric Nash
    Highlighting industrial examples of sustainable design along with innovative products and processes is one way to engage students and meet the NGSS. Steelcase Inc. is an international office design company who is leading the way with innovative sustainable product development. Beyond Benign, Steelcase Inc., and a group of high school chemistry teachers have teamed up to bring unique case studies to life for students through curriculum modules. By asking students “What if we could grow our own packaging?” we invite them to explore Grow.bio materials, a polystyrene packaging alternative grown from mycelium and agricultural waste. Students are given the power to create their own products and to design material tests to analyze what they’ve made. Learn how this sustainable innovation is serving as a tool to capture the imagination of the next generation of problem solvers.
  • Sustainable textiles: Threads that connect us all
    Sarah McCarron-Stewart and Gisele Rubino
    The chemistry of dyes, pigments and materials is a fascinating and interactive way to engage and excite students in the lab. Join us as we investigate and explore new innovative green chemistry technologies that help connect real-world applications in the lab. This session will feature lab activities that examine the chemistry of natural and synthetic fibers in addition to analyzing how pH influences the ability of dyes to adhere to fabrics.
  • The secrets of sharks' skin
    Kate Anderson and Ann Lambert
    Examples of sustainable designs engage students and show how chemistry connects to our world. This session will spotlight a module that connects both biomimicry and green chemistry principles and concepts to Sharklet film, an antimicrobial film inspired by sharks’ teeth-like scales, called dermal denticles. Sharklet prevents the growth of bacteria simply by its physical structure at the micro-scale, as bacteria are unable to stick to its ridged, diamond-patterned surface. Because of its micro-texture, Sharklet film can be used on a variety of surfaces to stop problem bacteria from accumulating—without the use of chemical or antibiotic controls that encourage bacterial resistance. Participate in a hands-on simulation and learn how this interactive module aligns to NGSS.