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My Classroom and Chemistry
Photo credit - Laura Brophy

     These colors aren’t in rainbow order but they’re just as beautiful.  They are organized from lowest pH to highest pH (left to right) and were made using red cabbage juice indicator, vinegar, and ammonia on my classroom overhead.   It was one of my favorite demos – well right up there with the flaming metal halides that I did for my middle school students!

     It was a good week overall.   I worked with the special education co-teacher for an inclusion class to develop a lesson on the Chemistry of acid rain and its environmental impact – my city is at the epicenter of the most acidic rainfall in the country.  The co-teacher is a Social Studies teacher working in science classrooms so we merged our areas of expertise into learning about both the chemistry of acid rain and geopolitical issues that block efforts to improve the situation.   Monday, we will move onto exploring buffers and pH chemistry through a lab using “model lakes” to investigate the effect of lake bed composition on the relative effect of acid rain.

     One of the major priorities of my current and future practice is making sure students understand that chemistry is everywhere and everything.   Chemistry is not just on the wall of the classroom in the Periodic Table or in the classroom prep area in small bottles with neat labels – all the ingredients used in the above demonstration were bought at the grocery store.  It was a fun week!

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