Welcome to Chemistry is Neat

Chemistry at William Penn Charter School

Over the course of the year, students will build a complex and powerful model for structure of mater and how it changes.  Most traditional chemistry curriculums start by describing the history of chemistry as a set of facts to memorize and ask the students to believe this complex model only based on the teachers authority of the subject.  In our course we will use the concept of scientific modeling for students to both explain and predict physical phenomena they will experience. Using labs, students will generate evidence based models of increasing accuracy and complexity through the year to explain the world around them.  To demonstrate understanding of the material, students will collect and plot data, create diagrammatic representations, develop mathematical expressions and present their thinking in both oral and written context.  By using these modes of expression in the daily class routine, students will be able to clarify their thinking process and develop a deeper understanding of the material.

What is a model?

In this short clip from a great set of chemistry videos, we learn a bit about why we use models in science.

Why model?

  • —To help students see science as a way of viewing the world rather than as a collection of facts.
  • —To make the coherence of scientific knowledge more evident to students by making it more explicit.
  • —Models and Systems are explicitly recognized as major unifying ideas for all the sciences by the AAAS Project 2061 for the reform of US science education.

This video introduces you to the approach we will be using to use the tools of science to cover the content of chemistry