Sophomore Chemistry is an introduction to chemistry using the modeling approach. Students work throughout the year to refine their model of the atom. Each unit begins with a laboratory investigation, where students use discussions and evidence-based arguments do determine how the various phenomena of basic chemistry work.
After seniors graduate, all juniors at BCAMSC take a half day class on climate change for the remainder of the school year. In the spring of 2015, I rebuilt the course from scratch, breaking the class into three sections: how the atmosphere works, how we are changing the atmosphere, and how we can mitigate impacts. Through laboratory investigations, students discover for themselves, and leave the class with an understanding of climate and climate change dynamics.
Here are brief discriptions of classes I am currently teaching.
Advanced Chemistry continues Sophoore Chemistry while focusing on how to determine the molecular mass of various unknown substances. Two of the techniques we learn to accomplish this with are titration and the Dumas Method. This Class employs modeling techniques.
Organic chemistry is often a weeder class early at university. My orgo class introduces students to organic nomenclature and mechanisms. Students focus on electron movment during reations, a topic that is often a sticking point in college.
In forensic Science, students learn what forensic scientists can and cannot do to help solve crimes. They spend the semester attempting to solve mock crimes around the school. Through this they learn about comparing and identifying physical evidance, toxicology, and arson. As a final project, students build balsa houses that are burned down in the presence of an accelerant. They describe the burn pattern and use gas chromotography to determine the accelerant used.