APSI Course Description: Chemistry
College Board AP Curriculum starting in 2013-2014. What is different in the revised curriculum. Reasons for the revision. Specifically discuss “exclusion statements.”
Format of the AP Chemistry test. Comparison with the AP Chemistry test based on the former curriculum.
Nature of inquiry labs. Why College Board is stressing inquiry labs.
College Board equity statement.
Websites: apcentral and apcommunity. Discuss what is available on both these websites.
Other recommended websites, and how they can be used in lessons.
College Board Audit: reasons for the audit, and how to fulfill the requirements for the audit. Compare sample syllabi from the College Board site.
Summary of Big Ideas in the College Board curriculum, and how these Big Ideas are incorporated into the curriculum.
How to use data and observations to teach concepts and principles. Interpretation of data, not memorization of formulas or definitions, will be a constant theme.
The nature of AP grading. How the exam is graded, and how teachers can apply to be AP readers.
Each day we will focus on one or more of the Big Ideas. This will include:
Analyzing prior multiple choice and free-response questions from the AP test, and discussing how to prepare students to answer such questions. We will also look at prior student responses, analyze how these were graded according to AP rubrics, and examine common student mistakes and misconceptions.
Discussion of best-practices: ways to help students understand the material and be successful on the AP test.
Demonstrations that engage student interest, and help student understanding. Some demonstrations that I will present are:
Boiling water under reduced pressure
Galvanic cells: setting them up and measuring voltage
Electrolysis of water: Faraday’s Laws
Labs. Participants will do at least one lab every day. Among the labs possible are:
Boyle’s Law using a water U-tube.
Molar mass of a liquefied compressed gas.
Percent of copper in brass.
Measure heat of vaporization of water.
Percent of hydrogen peroxide in drugstore hydrogen peroxide.
Kinetics of hydrogen peroxide decomposition.
Kinetics of crystal violet reaction.
All participants will be provided with a disk which they can copy to their hard drive, with reference material including:
College Board Course Description
College Board Lab Manual
Prior AP tests
Notes from my course at Rutgers
National Chemistry Olympiad exams
Instructor Paul Kimmel
Paul Kimmel Biography I am retired from teaching chemistry at East Brunswick High School for 42 years, teaching AP Chemistry for 40 of those years. Many of my former high school students have been quite successful in various scientific careers.
For the past 30 years I have been doing the evening lectures of General Chemistry at Rutgers University, and now, being retired from high school teaching, I am still lecturing at Rutgers and I’m also administering the course, meaning that I organize the website, prepare the exams, do the grading, and answer student questions. This is a big job, since the overall course has about 1700 students in the first semester and 1500 students in the second semester, all spread over a number of lecture and recitation sections. So it doesn’t really feel like I’m retired.
I have been active in AP Chemistry, being a reader for the AP Exam for 9 years, and have also conducted many AP summer institutes over the last 10 years.
I’m also an active pianist, and was the advisor the Musicians Club at East Brunswick High School while I was teaching there. I have performed in local recitals, as soloist and in ensemble groups. I have also played in the pit orchestra for high school and community shows. While teaching at East Brunswick High School, I made it an annual tradition to give all my high school chemistry students a concert on the day before winter break, showing them that science and music can complement each other very well.
For recreation and fitness, I like to go bicycle riding, mostly riding a tandem with my wife. In 2014, we logged over 2600 miles. I am the father of 4 sons, and have 2 granddaughters, who at the ages of 6 and 1.5, are very active.