A Chemical Garden – First TEMI Bachelor and Master Theses in Bremen
In Bremen a first group of students started working on BSc and MEd theses about the TEMI methodology. One of the practical examples selected by TEMI Germany is the mystery of the chemical garden and how it can be used to prepare an enquiry based lesson. The chemical garden is a well-known show experiment, described first in 1646 by the famous German chemist Johann Rudolf Glauber. When crystals or powders of metal salts, such as copper sulfate or cobalt chloride, are put in an aqueous solution of waterglass (a solution of sodium silicate) the crystals start growing like plants in minutes or hours. Since waterglass looks like simple water, the phenomenon is a fascinating mystery. Bremen BSc and MEd students will work on this subject for several weeks to find out what secondary school students can investigate to inquire and solve the mystery of the chemical garden. As the explanation is quite complex, TEMI Germany will develop a guided or structured inquiry according to the TEMI methodology; the classroom material will be soon available on the TEMI website.