Chemistry is a difficult subject for many students to grasp. Having students create posters and participate in hands-on projects can give them visual representations to help them learn about the elements, chemical reactions and some of the other complex information involved with chemistry. Students can also create posters to show how chemistry works in everyday life and in popular careers.
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For many students, it is difficult to learn a subject if they do not understand how it is relevant to their lives. Connect chemistry to students' daily lives by having them research how chemistry is used in the kitchen. Students can create a poster depicting common chemical reactions in the kitchen, such as mixing baking soda and vinegar or mixing ammonia with bleach, or determine the chemical make-up of some of the chemicals found in the kitchen such as baking soda and common cleaning products.
Assign students the task of researching chemistry-related careers. Students should create a poster outlining several careers in the field of chemistry and include brief descriptions of those careers along with the specific aspects of chemistry that are used in each career. Some career fields for students to consider include hazardous wastes management, forensic chemistry, biotechnology and chemical sales. To make the project more challenging, require that students interview someone who works in a chemistry-related field about how she uses chemistry on a daily basis.
Researching famous chemists can help students better understand complex elements of chemistry and realise the relevance of their subject matters. Have students research a famous chemist such as Dmitri Mendeleev, Marie Curie or John Dalton. The research should focus on the chemist's discoveries and the process that led to those discoveries. Students can present their research on a poster, in a formal research paper or as part of a PowerPoint presentation.
Students can create their own version of the periodic table. Have students include the elements from hydrogen to radon on their posters, organised in the correct order. Students can add symbols or pictures or symbols to represent each of the elements and label the elements as solid, liquid or gas. When students create their own periodic tables and assign symbols to each of the elements, they are more likely to remember the information.
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