Author Archives: aaronakeller

Beyond Basic Chemistry

Over the past few years I have written some labs that extend the chemistry curriculum. Some very interesting concepts get left out of the syllabus in order to facilitate getting students through what they have to know for academic chemistry. The labs include one about growing crystals, another about making soap, and at least two […]


I have written an activity which walks students through a process in which, by interacting with data, they can build their own understanding about direct and inverse proportions. Here’s the link:

A solution has a lower vapor pressure than pure water.

Boiling Point Elevation

Solutions Solutions are homogeneous mixtures of a solute and a solvent. More simply put, a solution is when one substance mixes with another one so well that there are no clumps where molecules of the dissolved substance are stuck together. One example is sea water, which is a complex mixture of salts dissolved in water. Also, when you […]

Lab: Crystals

Here is my latest lab. I’ve pasted the text of the background into this post. The link takes you to the actual hand-out. The at-home portion of the lab involves the use of chemistry to create amazing crystalline ornaments. Happy holidays! Source: Lab: Crystals Solubility Water is a substance that is easy to take for […]

Lab: Simulating Radioactive Decay

Apparently I am unusual in that I am happy to have a system of equations and a description of a set of concepts and nothing else when I am learning about a topic in science. Or perhaps I’ve just been doing this for too long. I have never really liked doing classroom simulations of real […]

Activity: POGIL Types of Radiation

This is the first in a new series of educational activities I have written for the purpose of teaching basic nuclear chemistry to my college-prep students. There are links at the top of the page to the other activities in the series. Activity: POGIL Types of Radiation.

Heat and Temperature in Phases Changes (Infographic)

Please use and share this inforgraphic with someone who needs to learn this material. My hope is that it will help to make it make sense. Heat and temperature are difficult concepts to understand. For example, when you add heat to boiling water it just continues to boil–its temperature does not go up. Also, if […]