Better Living Through Chemistry: Student Science Writers
In this compressed semester of Grade 9 MYP Chemistry, I had students do one full-length One World piece, written for a wider online audience. We had done formative One World work earlier in the semester, and the process of this article took a good few weeks, with drafting on GoogleDocs.
Brief: write a 1,200-1,500 word article for an online audience on the prompt “Better living through Chemistry: Chemical solutions to Global Issues.”
Assessment: One World and Communication in Science
Process: Topics proposed and drafted through GoogleDocs, with students seeking feedback on writing through highlighting and comments in the GoogleDocs. In the final sessions they put the articles together in WordPress and gave peer-feedback for quality of presentation, flow and message. We aimed to use images found through CreativeCommons Search and through Getty’s free Images(though the embed widget went squiffy on some of their wordpress editors).
Teacher note: this kind of task is a great way to realise that we are all language teachers. Managing workflow through GoogleDocs/Hapara makes commenting on drafts easier, though students need to keep their work there in order to show progression. The worflow and product are similar to the Grade 10 Environmental Science task, though with more scaffolding along the way.
Some highlights (with a range of scores) are posted below. Please click-through, read them and leave some encouraging comments!
- Access to clean water (and the Lifesaver Bottle) proved popular topics, with some great pieces by Jocelle, Joanne, Lisa, Kayla,
- Arushi explores the use of iodine tablets in the treatment of dirty water, and Omar looks at a nano-tech teabag.
- Lily-Rose outlines how oral rehydration therapy saves lives (and money), and so does Taimu.
- Plastic trash was also a popular issue. Fred writes about biodegradable plastics here, and Ryo describes the plastic to oil machine, as does Ben.
- Juhaku finds out more about hyperthermia as a way to potentially improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy
- Shina looks at how cancer diagnosis uses radioisotopes
- Kaiki describes biofuels as an alternative to gas or oil.
- Takeharu writes about an intriguing use of nano-scale crystals – to coat and protect vaccines for transport
- Masaki outlines the potential uses of carbon nanotubes
- Sheila describes how NSAIDS are used as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- Jonathan describes how sodium nitrite is used in food preservatives.