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How to Introduce Chemical-Engineering, STEM Concepts to K-12 Students

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1 MB|32 pages
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The objective of www.teacherspayteachers.com (TpT) is to provide a market whereby teachers who create time-saving classroom materials can make them available, for a price, to other teachers. The range of grade levels extends from pre-K to grade-level 12, higher education, adult education, homeschool, and staff.

I focus on the paradigm that “THE BASIC UNIT OF CHEMISTRY IS MOLECULES AND IF ATOMS ARE LETTERS, THEN MOLECUJLES ARE WORDS.” This paradigm leads to an entirely different approach to introducing chemistry to K-12 students. A student selects a specific molecule and then focuses on its multiple locations, its concentrations and amounts in these locations, and what it is doing in these locations. I call this approach, “enrichment chemistry”. It should not replace the traditional, introductory, chemistry course at a high school or university. Instead, the material contained in “enrichment chemistry” can be used to supplement existing chemistry material in courses and updated chemistry textbooks. Between the sophomore and senior years at a university, it can be taught to non-STEM majors. Finally, it can be taught to the public as podcasts and YouTube videos.

In this free download, I propose that STEM concepts of chemical engineering (ChE) be introduced to students starting at grade level 5 and continuing until grade level 11. This approach can apply also to homeschool, higher education, and adult education.

Three new spiral curricula are introduced: (1) molecules, (2) universe, and (3) chemical engineering. I propose universe because students should learn how and where elements are created and also their abundances on earth. I propose molecules because teachers (at grade level 4) and students (at grade level 5) can download, install, and use freeware, molecular-modeling software called ChemSketch 2015. I assist such individuals by preparing (as TpT downloads) self-extracting files for ChemSketch 2015. All you need to do with each *.sk2 file is to open it into ChemSketch 2015 and then proceed to create both spacefill and ball-&-stick molecular models that can be rotated manually using a mouse.

I propose chemical engineering because teachers and students should learn several key concepts that only chemical engineering departments teach to their undergraduates. For example, where in chemistry, biochemistry, or biology textbooks are the rate processes of convection and diffusion mentioned?

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Peter Rony




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