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What will the first week lessons look like for you in a chemistry class after the pandemic ?

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I’m math, so not Chem but I’m still focusing on interactions the first week. My kids won’t even use a writing instrument until Day 2. I plan to move slower through the curriculum intentionally to allow lots of time for the kids to discuss and problem solve.

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I like to do some activities that include team communication. There is a string, rubber band, solo cup stacking activity that is pretty funny, but also reinforces the value of your team.

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We are required a 3 feet social distancing

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After some team building ideas in my Bio class, I am hitting the group running!

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I took a chemistry class at the community college this summer and we had labs once a week, with the rest of the class presented via Zoom. We each had our own set of supplies in a locked drawer. I wish I tested out of chemistry in high school. It was such a drag to take again! Good luck!

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I like to do 2 demonstrations. First I affix a votive candle in a glass mixing bowl with sides that are taller than the candle. I put a pile of baking soda around the candle base. I light the candle, then slowly pour vinegar on the baking soda. As the fizzing progresses, the candle is extinguished. The students need to hypothesize why this happens. We begin to discuss concepts that students may already know from prior classes. They may know that oxygen feeds a fire and carbon dioxide stops a fire. I will give them the formula of baking soda and vinegar if they cannot figure out that the gas released in this reaction is carbon dioxide. I will also show the double replacement, and subsequent decomposition of the carbonic acid. If the discussion warrants more curiosity. Ultimately we conclude that carbon dioxide gas was released, and that puts out the fire. In my second demonstration affix two birthday candles to a petri dish using melted wax to hold them upright. One candle is full length the other is shorter by at least half the height. I light both candles. I ask them to predict the order in which the candles will extinguish. Then I invert a large beaker over the candles. Will the candles extinguish at the same time, will the shorter one be first, or taller one? The taller candle always extinguishes first. Then the students will try to explain why. We will start with what most people already know about combustion reactions. They know that the beaker cuts off the oxygen supply. They may or may not know that the combustion reaction gives off carbon dioxide. If they don't know this information, I may guide them in that direction with some questions. Based on the first demonstration they know that carbon dioxide gas puts out a fire. I usually discuss how this is the mechanism if some fire extinguishers. If they don't already know that carbon dioxide is more dense than air, I show a video of dry ice sublimation. I guide them to the next concept, that the burning candles heat the air, and that hot air rises. The rising air can only rise up inside the enclosed beaker until it hits the glass. Once the warmed air can no longer rise in the area above the candles, the head space begins to fill with higher and higher concentrations of carbon dioxide. The taller candle goes out first because it is surrounded by a high concentration of carbon dioxide first.

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