Garrett Hosts Virtual Workshops for Physical Science, Chemistry Teachers

Screenshot of virtual workshops

Rave reviews flooded in from attendees who participated in the 6th installment of the It’s Easy Being Green: Budget-Friendly Safety-Conscious Chemistry Labs for the Secondary Science Classroom of Today workshop series, hosted by Belmont’s Department of Chemistry and Physics. After a one-year hiatus, the It’s Easy Being Green… workshop series returned in a virtual format.

In early June, event organizer, Dr. Danielle Garrett, associate professor of chemistry education, hosted three half-day synchronous virtual workshops for physical science and chemistry teachers. Prior to the workshop this year, Glow Stick Reaction Rates… Another One Lights the Dark, participants built a detector box and collected data for a lab focusing on kinetics and the graphical determination of the reaction order of the limiting reactant in the glow stick reaction. During the virtual workshop, teacher preparation notes, content background information, supplemental data and possible experimental modifications were discussed. Additionally, data analysis was modeled through Excel. The workshop ended with a walk-though of a bonus activity focusing on collision theory and a qualitative analysis of the effect of temperature on the glow stick reaction rate.

This year, 25 attendees from 13 counties participated in the virtual workshop, with teachers in attendance not only from Middle Tennessee, but also from East Tennessee, West Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. More than 50 percent of the participants reported having attended at least one previous workshop since the program’s launch in 2015. Most of the participants indicated an interest not only in attending future workshops in-person, but also virtually.

“The virtual format pushed me to think outside the box about how to develop and host an engaging hands-on professional development lab experience with labs that would not only work in the classroom, but could also be completed by participants from their homes,” Garrett said. “While I’m definitely looking forward to hosting an in-person workshop next year, I’m excited about exploring the potential for offering more virtual professional development opportunities.”