Elementary Science: Reflections on Food Chemistry

My elementary class that is studying food chemistry is approaching the end of the unit.  The students learned to test foods for starch, glucose, protein, and fat.  They built paper molecules showing highly simplified structures for each of these types of molecule and they wrote short essays talking about what foods they would bring with … More Elementary Science: Reflections on Food Chemistry

Elementary School Science: Simple Molecular Models

This year, I’ll be teaching a food chemistry unit to my elementary school science class.  It’s a mixed-age homeschool class, with kids ranging in age from 8-11.  I’ll be using the STC Curriculum “Food Chemistry” which is structured around using chemical test to discover what macro-molecules are found in various foods. I like the curriculum … More Elementary School Science: Simple Molecular Models

Avoiding Stinkines: More Convenient Chemistry

My classes are often a bit messy – it’s an unavoidable side effect of doing lots of labs.  That’s ok, but I’d rather avoid the mess when possible.  That’s why these “Magic Color Crystals” are solid favorites in my tool kit. Using purple cabbage juice to explore pH is time-tested, safe, effective, and fun.  But … More Avoiding Stinkines: More Convenient Chemistry

Elementary School Science: Introduction to pH

This is a short unit that I’ve used to introduce upper elementary school students to pH and, more broadly, the concept of chemical testing.  It is strongly influenced by the charming publication Of Cabbages and Chemistry by Jacqueline Barber.  My teaching periods are quite long, so although I’ve organized this unit into three lessons most teachers … More Elementary School Science: Introduction to pH