“The soul never thinks without an image” – Aristotle
Welcome to James Madison University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ChemDemo website! Demonstrations provide a great way to get students interested in science and to visualize chemical concepts. We believe that demos are important tools to be used in teaching and outreach. Our website is meant to be a resource for science instructors everywhere, but especially within the state of Virginia.
This website is run by Dr. Kevin L. Caran, a chemistry professor at JMU, and his former research student, Casey Rogers, a JMU chemistry alum and current high school teacher. Natalie Coppola joined the project in 2012. This project started when Dr. Caran had an idea of revamping demonstrations at JMU. Everything snowballed from that and here we are!
We realize that doing demonstrations in class can sometimes be a lot of work; our goal is to take care of a few of the logistics for you. The website contains over 60 demonstrations with instructions on how to do them. Additionally, some demos have lesson plans and/or problem sets correlated with them to make fitting a demonstration into a lesson simpler. If you don’t have the time or resources to do a live demo, we do have some demo videos available under the Video Gallery. Each demonstration has Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) associated with it in an effort to continue to lower the activation energy required to demonstrations for K-12 teachers in VA (search by SOL). Demonstrations are also searchable by topic.
Outreach @ JMU
At JMU, we have a long standing tradition of demonstrations. Our 2 student organizations that are affiliated with chemistry, AXΣ (Alpha Chi Sigma) and SAACS (Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society), use demonstrations to perform magic shows for children at schools and local community organizations and help scouts to gain science badges. Additionally the Department participates in Expanding Your Horizons, a hands-on science and math activity day for young ladies held annually at the University.
Outreach Page of the Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s website