Ideas to practice
It’s been over a year, since I taught my last chemistry class. Though I have no regrets about that decision, I do miss the daily interaction with other teachers, especially the kind of committed, passionate, creative educators who populated my school.
Last week, I boarded a plane to go to ChemEd 17 at South Dakota State University. This biennial conference is focused on chemistry education, with presentations mostly from high school teachers and a few from college-level general chemistry instructors. It is “our” conference – not a research-focused event like ACS meetings, or a general education event like ISTE or even NSTA. The ChemEd meetings have a singular mission of improving the craft of teaching chemistry.
For the first time in 18 months, I felt the inspiration of being with chemistry classroom practitioners and sharing ideas derived from working with students. It was a homecoming for me.
There were great formal presentations:
· Delving deep into Diet Coke and Mentos with Tom Kuntzleman (a blog post on that coming soon!)
· Hearing the story and goals of Andy Brunning’s Compound Interest website
· Trying out new methods for student engagement in a workshop with Melanie Shedd.
Equally important were the informal discussions between sessions.
· Listening to Doug Ragan discuss true angst about content after a summer seminar on NGSS
· Sharing best practices with regard to lab safety with Jeff Bracken
I also connected with Atomsmith’s Dave Doherty and Playmada Games, Edward Wang. Both of these companies are building stunning educational technology products for chemistry. We talked business models and sales strategy, two pieces of my new world as the startup founder of Alchemie.
Refreshed by my time with chemistry teachers, I am excited to put ideas to practice by building content for the early adopters of the Alchemie Animator app and its sharing platform. I am returning to lesson design…yeah!
If you are interested in being one of our Alchemie Innovators, we would love to work with you.
You are the reason I left my classroom home, and serving you is my new mission!
You can also sign up for one of our online workshops.