Inspired by the ongoing media reports of chemical fire demonstrations that get out of control and the Newscripts column in this week's C&EN (see
I spent some time this morning googling to see if there is any research demonstrating that spectacular chemical demonstrations are correlated with better student learning of chemistry (beyond anecdotal memories of chemists about what sparked their original interest in the subject).
I didn't find anything that specifically answered that question, but I did find a couple of Journal of Chemical Education articles from the 1990's that I think are useful in thinking about whether demonstrations are educational as well as "exocharmic":
Chemical demonstrations: Learning theories suggest caution
The science and art of science demonstrations
I think that these articles provide important context for the CSB warning from last week.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post