During the holidays one takes a break from classes, curriculum, and the day-to-day planning of lessons. It is at this time that one thinks of one’s subject in a broader manner. The May/June issue of Teacher Plus on geography was particularly inspiring. The articles covered a wide range of disciplines and it got me thinking about all the subjects chemistry intersects with. Geography, of course, in earth science, and environmental science are the most obvious.
While the study of chemistry as a subject has all the principles and details, I wonder if students are able to extract the relevant reactions and relate them to the concepts they study in the other classes. Some of the experiments may not be performed at all in chemistry classes since they may not be necessary to illustrate the concepts being learnt. It will be good to explore experiments that act as a link between subjects; experiments lying on the periphery of two subjects and therefore neglected by both. Over the next few months, I would like to look at experiments that will illustrate concepts in geography and environmental science. I hope they will be helpful both to the chemistry teacher, wanting to make the subject relevant to the real world, and to the other teachers to illustrate and establish links. None of these experiments is new and what is being done is to sequence them differently.
Water is one of the topics studied with different emphasis in chemistry, biology, geography, and environmental science. Let us look at a sequence of experiments that will be appropriate for a geography lesson.
The author works with Centre for Learning, Bengaluru. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.