A native of Lebanon, Al received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the American University in Cairo in 1968. He also holds an M.S. degree in Chemistry (1972) from Youngstown State University in Ohio and a doctorate in Science Education (1997) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Al has taught science and chemistry for several years at the school and the college levels here and overseas. Currently, he is the Director of the Undergraduate Chemistry Labs and a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition, he regularly teaches science education courses in the College of Education. He has received several grants from government agencies, industry, and various organizations to improve undergraduate chemistry lab instruction and also to support K-16 hands-on science and chemistry outreach activities. He was the 2000 recipient of the ACS Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach. Al is a very active ACS member. He is the immediate past-chair of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety, an ACS tour speaker, and the councilor for the ACS East Tennessee Section. Al is an affiliate of the Institute for Chemical Education and a member of the National and the Tennessee Science Teachers Associations. He has made several presentations and given talks to local, regional, national and international chemical and science education conferences.
A Fun (but Educational) History of Chemistry
Alex Hailey (the author of "Roots") once said: "Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know it had some help." We surely have come a long way in our knowledge of chemistry since the natural philosophers, the alchemists and the Harry Potter days. Wonder what the father of the modern periodic table Dimitri Mendeleev's favorite toy was? Wonder what Marie and Pierre Curie received as a wedding present? Wonder how Watson and Crick arrived at the determination of the structure of DNA (with the super help of Rosalind Franklin)? In this presentation, these questions and many others will be answered that will surely bring the human side to our historical chemistry story.
Chemistry in Comics
Just as humor is most entertaining when its theme fits the topic of conversation, so too comics that depict chemistry situations and/or materials are most effective as a teaching strategy when they reinforce a topic or concept students are currently studying. A variety of chemistry comics will be presented, and the learning situations into which they best fit will be discussed.
The talk will focus on a fun and educational display and discussion of at least 40 different periodic tables of the chemical elements. We will start with the old (pre-Mendeleev) tables, continue through the different modern ones, and then cover the most unusual ones.
Show Me the Chemistry!
Can you imagine a world without chemistry? Chemistry is everywhere, for everyone, and happening everyday. This presentation will include several exciting chemistry activities and demonstrations that ignite curiosity and inspire the lifelong discovery, learning and enjoyment of chemistry, the central science. Common and supermarket substances will be used.