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CHF staff and scholars provide a behind-the-scenes guide to activities at CHF, with reflections on science education, provocative explorations of chemistry in the wider world, and much more.

This page holds archived blog posts. Visit our Tumblr page to see recent content and to join the conversation.

All posts in education

Banish STEM

The STEM acronym: what is it good for? Possibly nothing.

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Posted In: Education

Collective Voice: Museum Staff Takes Minneapolis

Last week some fellow staff members and I boarded a plane headed to Minneapolis for the American Association of Museums conference. I came back with snapshots to share.

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Posted In: Education

Water, Water Everywhere

Last week Erik Fyrwald, president of Ecolab (recently merged with Nalco) presented an address to CHF’s Joseph Priestley Society entitled “The Water Challenge: Improving Resourcefulness to Overcome Limited Resources.” In front of a packed lunchtime house he enumerated three overarching water challenges.

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Posted In: Education

Collective Voice: Inspiring Youth in Chemistry

Anyone who is a regular reader of Periodic Tabloid could not have missed our celebration of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. CHF wanted to cap the year with a retrospective exhibit that highlighted some of IYC's activities. The curatorial team decided to focus the exhibit around the IYC goal of “encouraging interest in chemistry among young people,” and developed the just-opened Inspiring Youth in Chemistry.

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Posted In: Education

Science Faculty Survival

Young scientists hunting for their first academic faculty appointment face a daunting prospect. Naturally one wonders: how many make the grade and navigate an initial faculty appointment to promotion and a secure tenured university professorship?

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Posted In: Education

Animated GIF Tuesday: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Celebrates the Periodic Table

When the Fresh Prince (known today as one Will Smith) was still living in West Philadelphia, CHF was in its infancy. So it’s doubtful he ever visited. Judging from this GIF, however, we think he might enjoy it.

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Posted In: Education

Collective Voice: Intermission

Imagine if you never gave your house a spring cleaning. Now imagine that, in addition to all this, your house had more than 600 individual artifacts and hundreds of people walking through it every month. That’s our reality: we haven’t shut down the Museum at CHF for a serious cleaning since opening in October 2008. But we finally found the time this year, and closed the museum for eight days at the beginning of February.

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Posted In: Education

Who’s Afraid of History of Science?

Three historians of science got together last week in Philadelphia to talk about what matters in the history of science and what’s useful about it. I went into the talk convinced of the importance of the history of science. After all, I wouldn’t be a historian of science if I didn’t think it important. But I did have one concern.

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Posted In: Education | History

Collective Voice: Sing a Chemical Self

The ubiquitous elements that are both in our bodies and our environment are the focus of Dove Bradshaw’s 2004 print Song of Which (Evelina kneeling, looking left). Bradshaw, an internationally acclaimed artist based in New York, recently offered to donate this work to CHF's collections. We are thrilled to have a work that poetically suggests that we are physical and chemical selves, made up of the same carbon and nitrogen that is in the soil and the stars.

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Posted In: Education

Resolutions

Most people’s resolutions are old favorites like losing weight, exercising more, not obsessing about things you can’t change, or volunteering for a favorite charity. We no longer have the happiness of 2011’s International Year of Chemistry, but since I'm still intent on taking a chemistry centric view, I offer the following resolutions for 2012.

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Posted In: Education