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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

Not to Be Tabled

Last month, students from a science journalism class at the University of Pennsylvania visited CHF to review our museum. It was their final assignment and an informal contest of sorts: CHF staff chose their favorite review for publication on Periodic Tabloid. The winning piece, Ben Guarino’s “Not to Be Tabled,” appears after the jump.

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Posted In: Education

Join CHF's Book Club!

Each month CHF staff members get together to discuss a chemistry-related title. But you don't have to be in the building to join in. August's pick after the jump.

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Posted In: Education

Summer Reading

While settling into my new job at CHF and leaving to my wife the daunting task of selling our house in Massachusetts, I am living a Spartan, bachelor existence. In my Old City sublet you will find no television, stereo, or computer; in my free time I wander weathered cobblestones and read books about chemistry.

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Posted In: Education

Current Research by Future Scientists

Walking around as a “guest scientist” at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) 9th-grade science fair last month, I felt more like a collaborator at an American Chemical Society meeting than a judge. Far from cookie-cutter “sunlight and plants” projects, students presented real research, motivated by curiosity, with results ready to jump off their posters.

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Posted In: Education

Holiday Video Blog: Fireworks

Fireworks being the most watched chemical reaction in popular culture, July 4th presents a prime opportunity to talk up electrons and elements to your friends. Seriously, this is one day people will listen to you. Make sure you’ve got it right.

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Civil War Medicine at CHF Science Fair

It’s First Friday at CHF, and we’re ready to celebrate with “Stars, Stripes, and Science,” our annual science fair. We know, of course, that the July 4th holiday commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But this year we are commemorating another important anniversary in American history: the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

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Posted In: Education | History

What Is, Geeking Out on Jeopardy!?

When CHF learned that the June 21 episode of Jeopardy! would include a category devoted to IYC 2011 we were quite excited. Perhaps none more than I, a particularly avid fan of “America’s favorite quiz show.” I’m not kidding—the IBM Watson challenge was a high point of my year. But how would an IYC 2011 category play out?

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Posted In: Education

CHF Abroad

Bonjour from beautiful Paris! A group of four CHF staff are in Paris this week for the Commission on the History of Modern Chemistry's symposium, "Renewing the Heritage of Chemistry in the 21st Century."

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Posted In: Education | History

NYC's World Science Festival

Guest blogger Josette Hammerstone: "As our country struggles with a dwindling economy, we’ve started to look at how to bring science and technology back into American hearts and minds. Many have found that the biggest challenge lies in changing our culture of celebrity. Events like the recent World Science Festival in New York City are becoming an increasingly common way to celebrate science and popularize its heroes."

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Posted In: Education

Why a Peach Sent Me to the Emergency Room

Ever since early childhood, a ripe plum, apple, or another select fruit would sometimes create a series of hives on my lips and cause a tickly sensation in the back of my throat. But as I ate my peach that night, the sensation didn’t go away, even with the assistance of an antihistamine.

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Posted In: Education