Grass Clippings Biochar experiment
IB Chemistry IB blogging
by scottiemmm@hotmail.com
6M ago
Today I tried an experiment with grass clippings where I heated the grass in a covered pot to convert the clippings into charcoal. This conversion is called biochar. The idea is that by turning the carbon in the organic material into charcoal the charcoal can be buried and prevented from gradually turning into carbon dioxide or methane.  Figure 1: 1.8 (+/- 0.2) pounds of Dried out grass in a 5 gallon steel pot My initial test run involved leaving the grass clippings in a pile in the yard for a week. This dried them out which removes water from the grass. I assume this will lead to more ..read more
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Daily student recaps
IB Chemistry IB blogging
by scottiemmm@hotmail.com
6M ago
On a Saturday in late fall we held a follow up to our modeling workshop. One of the participants brought a colleague along with her. During one of our discussions she mentioned that she had been having students do a daily recap of the previous lesson. I thought the idea was brilliant and so I started having my IB chemistry HL class do it. I recently expanded the recaps to my chemistry classes. There are multiple benefits to doing this and I wanted to put them together and encourage teachers to try using this tool in your own classes. 1.  Students listen differently to their peers. When I ..read more
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Kroger ads are over the item limit for the anti-science express lane
IB Chemistry IB blogging
by scottiemmm@hotmail.com
6M ago
Going grocery shopping can be quite obnoxious for a chemistry teacher. It’s not just the chemical-free labels but rather an overwhelming amount of misleading and deceptive marketing. It is a stark reminder that there are relentless forces pushing back regardless of how hard I work to teach science, evidence-based thinking and chemistry knowledge. For every time a student learns how to predict the products of a chemical reaction they will be inundated with non-GMO labels. Every particle representation that pushes their thinking will be countered by claims that only ingredients with names that c ..read more
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