P604: Boiling water made interesting – (really?)

Author: Jean Weaver, The Prairie School, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 4:00 PM4:20 PM

Room: MAK BLL 126

Related Symposium: S47

Heat is an especially confusing and abstract topic for students. They confuse temperature with heat; they’re unfamiliar with the Celsius scale and they’ve never even heard of the word “joule”. They grapple with the concept that matter can absorb and release heat, but it doesn’t contain heat, and most don’t believe that the temperature of a substance remains constant while it undergoes a phase change. The situation gets even worse when we throw in the word “enthalpy”. As teachers, a thermochemistry unit can be quite a challenge. In this presentation, I’ll show how I use a beaker of water, a hotplate, a temperature probe and Vernier software to take a deep look at what happens at the microscopic level when water boils. Prompted by POGIL-like questions while the water is warming, students learn to distinguish heat, kinetic and potential energy, and the effects these forms of energy have on the water particles as they go from the liquid to the gaseous state.

P32: Teaching chemistry at a private high school: An inside look from a PhD

Author: Jean Weaver, The Prairie School, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 3:05 PM3:25 PM

Room: MAK BLL 126

Related Symposium: S5

After receiving a PhD in pharmaceutics, I took a job teaching chemistry at a small private school in Wisconsin, thinking I’d move on to something else in 5 years. Seventeen years later, I’m still at the same school and can’t imagine a better job. For those familiar with only traditional public schools, private schools are often misunderstood. The stereotype of rich, privileged kids padding their resumes to ensure admission to an Ivy League school holds true at some independent schools, but is not the norm at most. What independent schools do have in common is a core of professionals and families who highly value education, a dedicated faculty who shoulder varied responsibilities, and an educational mission that stresses not only academics, but also extracurricular activities and qualities such as leadership and altruism. Provided with various opportunities to grow as a teacher, a supportive administration, respectful, appreciative students and families, various leadership opportunities plus a few other unique perks, I’ve found teaching in this setting very rewarding and stimulating. Independent schools seek the best teachers out there, yet high-quality teachers in the physical sciences are often hard to find. Perhaps a private school is the perfect niche for you and your career aspirations.