Homepage of Mr. Keller, Chemistry Teacher at
Scarborough High School in Scarborough, Maine.
Please see the copyright statement if you intend to use these materials in your class.
Why Teach Science?
- Science should be taught to everyone so that everyone can
appreciate the complexity and beauty of nature.
- Science should be taught to everyone because great scientists
can become great only if they become scientists first.
- Science should be taught to everyone because understanding
science is the key to understanding technology. And technology
has become a force in society which, if we are not careful, will
control our future.
- Doing challenging work of any kind trains the brain. Studying science provides students with an opportunity to think deeply about complex systems. Specific skills and concepts may or may not have long-term application but the ability to think critically and synthesize complex information is universally applicable.
Not every student in an art class becomes an artist. Not every
student in a science class becomes a scientist. But everyone
should learn to understand the beautiful and everyone should
learn to understand the world around them.
Science, at its best,
is doubt instilled in a person as a virtue. Certainty is
stagnation: the human imagination is no match for the imagination
of nature. Nature does not give up her secrets
easily. Critical thinking and careful comparison are essential toward building the constantly improving models built by the methods of science.
Mr. Keller’s Motto
Think, Reflect, Learn
Correct answers matter less than critical thinking. If you think carefully, and work hard, correct answers will come. The important thing is the thinking. If you think carefully and reflect on your work you will see for yourself whether your answers are correct or not. FIO
See below for Useful Information about printing, etc.
See my YouTube Chemistry Demonstration Videos from right here on my site.
A scientific calculator
for chemistry including a table of useful constants and a molar mass calculator: just enter the chemical formula.
Periodic Table (PDF) from http://www.webelements.com/
Periodic Table colored by groups
A Reference Sheet of Common Atomic and Polyatomic Ions
To browse all of the various things I have published have a look at
Documents Listed by Topic
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of all topics covered or activities used.
Search this site:
Writing Scientific Explanations
In my courses you will be asked to write well-reasoned scientific explanations. In other words, you will develop correct theories about the world and write them down.
Overview of Explanations
Group Work Defined
Working in small groups to solve problems is a great way to learn science. Here are
a few documents to give group work some shape and definition so that it can be a
self-regulating learning tool:
Group Work Information
Group Work Evaluation Form
Group Work Presenter Grading
Learning the Latest: A Magazine Reading Assignment
Students write some very funny things at times. Sometimes they even realize it at the time. All of the quotes on this page are verbatim from real student papers. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent.
A few useful links
Periodic Table (PDF) from http://www.webelements.com/ Link goes outside the Scarborough School Department Web Site
Periodic Table Image suitable for printing
Periodic Table colored by groups from http://www.chemicool.com/ Link goes outside the Scarborough School Department Web Site
A Reference Sheet of Common Atomic and Polyatomic Ions
Examples of Chemistry Problems
Vapor Pressure of Water
A fully-functional scientific calculator
for chemistry including a table of useful constants.
A Partial Bibliography of works consulted
And here’s a useful download: a program that will
quickly and easily convert units for you. Download and unzip to use.
Teachers and other Professionals:
This material is copyrighted but I grant permission for in-classroom use. Please give the URL and not copies to other teachers. Only pages directly downloaded may be used, do not distribute paper copies. Requirement for use: send me an email and give me feedback on your success with these materials. See also my copyright statement.
a k e l l e r
[at] scarborough . k12 . me . us
You will have to remove the spaces to use this address.
Important note regarding printing
Before printing turn off the optional header and footer information. Also, make the left margin 0.75 in
(1.9 cm) and the other margins 0.5 in (1.3 cm) so that the page breaks I built into
the pages work as intended. Use only Internet Explorer to print as
Netscape and Firefox both implement the page code a bit differently and I haven't optimized the pages for those browsers. My apologies if you are using a Mac: I cannot guarantee that you will be able to print these pages as I intended.
Some of the
files are PDFs and you need the Acrobat Reader available from Adobe. Some files are also MS Word 97 or RTF documents,
which just about anyone should be able to view. If you have trouble, try going
to www.microsoft.com to download the
Science and Pseudoscience
Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold. What have we to offer in exchange? Uncertainty! Insecurity!
It always takes longer than you think it’s going to take, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
Understanding the Universe
“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.”