“Chemie ist, wenn es knallt und stinkt“ (Chemistry is when it bangs and stinks) – “this typical German statement is only half of the truth.
Beginning with 7th grade chemistry, our school is applying the science „chemistry“ to real life situations. This includes understanding carbon dioxide, how it is produced, and environmental impacts including how to avoid the rising level of CO2 in our atmosphere. Water is also a major 7th grade topic covered. The topic includes learning about the importance of water and water conservation.
From 8th grade on, Chemistry is taught two periods per week. In 8th grade, the students learn how to use the periodic table, how to interpret its organization; furthermore, they learn about the importance of Rutherford’s experiment and the meaning of the Lewis dot structure. The second semester topic is metals – its properties, usage, and importance.
Later, in 9th grade, when acids and bases are examined, we also aim to apply chemistry to real life. For example, how can it be that red cabbage changes its color to blue, or why do athletes use magnesium tablets after running? In the second semester the students start with the organic chemistry: hydrocarbons are the main topic.
10th grade is the year of organic chemistry: alcohols, aldehydes, carbon acids and ester will be taught and examined experimentally.
In 7th grade, students have a two-periods per week class for one semester (physics is taught in the other semester). In 8th to 10th grade, they have two periods per week. At least one of the two hours takes place in a lab room, which makes it possible to have a lot of student labs whenever possible.
Besides doing student labs, other forms of instructions are included: acting as a researcher, self-organized learning, and problem-orientated learning (for example, to prepare for the MSA-presentation in 10th grade).
In addition to their regular German program, students in 7th grade (and 8th grade) have the opportunity to learn more German in chemistry classes because the classes are taught by German-speaking teachers. These classes are called “project classes” and they also exist in physics and biology. The aim is to develop a positive attitude towards German as a foreign language and also to enjoy the subject of chemistry. This course is for students who do not take French or Spanish in 7th grade.
“Der einfachste Versuch, den man selbst gemacht hat, ist besser als der schönste, den man nur sieht.” (Michael Faraday 1791-1867)
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