New Things happening in Chemistry this Week – BCA, Baby

In my ever maddening quest to make chemistry less like a math class and more like “science” I’m going to try something new, again.

Last summer at the BCCE, I saw a great presentation about a new way to do stoichiometry problems called BCA.  It’s patterned after the ICE method of determining equilibrium constants developed (as far as I can tell) by Larry Dukerick at Arizona State as part of their Chemistry Modeling Program (link to slideshare presentation).

I, of course, am one to jump into the deep end of the pool without checking on the temperature of the water am going to give it a try with just a little planning

OK, maybe a lot of planning.  I have been modifying most of my class discussion to focus on the particle view.  Always relating back to the mole and how the mole and particle relate.  Labs are becoming more inquiry based.

I’m also trying another new idea.  I’m making students guess if they don’t know an answer.  This way, I can determine just how much they don’t know, and also it has lowered their inhibition about contributing to the classroom discussion.  A few socratic questions asked by me has been overall successful in leading the students to develop their own understanding of the many concepts while allowing them to be more involved in the discussion.

Right now, I’ve got my collegue going over the plan of attack for this thing.  If it passes muster, it’s 100 percent go for this year.

Biggest fear is do I abandon traditional stoichiometry or not?


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