Session S18b (Monday, 2pm, Wartik 106)

P224: Students helping students: Successful secondary/pre-secondary peer-teaching partnerships

Alison Sheridan-Brennan (Chenango Forks School District, USA)

As a National Chemistry Week outreach initiative, Regents and AP students (10-12th graders) invite middle school students and fifth grade elementary students over to the high school chemistry lab.  The secondary students are in charge of teaching a small group (3-5) of pre-secondary students how to light Bunsen burners and perform flame tests.   As a performance indicator, each pre-secondary student must light the Bunsen burner on his/her own and complete 2 successful flame tests.  After the activity, results are discussed and the pre-secondary students have to identify the elements based on a chart of known element flame test colors.

As an additional project after the AP exam, AP chemistry students are expected to work as a group to teach elementary and middle school students about a chemistry topic of their choosing.  Each student is responsible for researching/developing a demonstration or hands on activity and teaching it to the elementary and middle school students complete with a lesson plan.  The entire project is constructed as a group and must have an overall theme, along with an introduction and conclusion.  This endeavor requires students to consider both pedagogy and showmanship, improving students’ teamwork, oral communication, and presentation skills while avoiding “wasted time” as the students await the end of the school year.  This presentation will explore both projects, highlighting the successes and struggles encountered during their planning and implementation.


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