Eric Carlson

I teach Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science. I love challenging myself and my students to explore the world around us and think critically.




Royal High School

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Recent Posts by Eric

Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:58 AM in Students Stymied by Stoichiometry--Try This!
If your students are like mine, they are frequently confused and frustrated by stoichiometry problems. This year, I pioneered a different approach that has been much more successful than the traditional method. The method centers around the writing of mass balanced chemical equations, as opposed to mole balanced. I'll go through some example problems, mostly using ammonia synthesis. A tradition...

Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:44 AM in What are you reading?
Some science books I have enjoyed. Books are adult level, unless otherwise stated. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson The Story of Science (3 Part Series) by Joy Hakim (High school level) The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson What If? by Randall Munroe The Physics of Super Heroes by James Kakalios What if the Moon Didn't Exist? by by Neil Comins Six Eas...

Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:45 PM in New Elements
I'm pretty sure there's no way to cast a vote. The naming rights go to the discoverers, and IUPAC can approve or disapprove of the name and symbol. What has to happen is first the discoverers have to be persuaded to choose the symbol J (you can find their e-mails by doing a simple internet search) and the IUPAC naming committee (link to their page here:

Recent Reviews by Eric

Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:07 AM
4 Good introduction to moment of inertia
Almost everyone is familiar with inertia and that objects resist changes to motion, but I think the idea of 'moment of inertia' eludes many. This is unfortunate, because many important objects in our life spin, and you can't understand spinning motion without understanding the moment of inertia. The full story of what a moment of inertia is and how to assign one to an object is worth exploring for those who wish to go deeper. It would also be worthwhile to find some objects of differing mass to roll that result in a tie. In any case, I encourage any one who lacks insight into the nature of spinning motion to start with this article.

Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:36 PM
5 For those who wondered
This is a delightful little article that explains words that are tossed around a lot in science class, but unfortunately are not very well understood by many people. This article is great starting point for anyone who is confused about the difference between law, theory, and hypothesis.

Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:40 PM
5 At last, one for the biochemists
At first I thought this SciPack was going to be largely redundant with other SciPacks that discuss cell growth and functions, and at one level it is, because there is nothing fundamental in it that isn't addressed somewhere else. That said, this SciPack goes into much more chemical detail as to the "how's" of energy generation and consumption, giving specific details as to the chemicals and mechanisms involved, as well as the energy balance sheet (what you put into the system and what you get out). This SciPack is the place where biology meets chemistry, so if you are ever interested in knowing the mechanisms of cellular function (instead of just glossing over it and saying "that's just how it is"), this is the SciPack that will take you there. Alternatively, as a chemist, it's your chance to see chemistry played out on its most exciting stage: life.

Recent Public Collections by Eric

Inquiry Articles

3 Resources

These articles focus on inquiry in the science classroom.

Inquiry Takes Time
Type: Journal Article
Grade: Elementary School

A Template for Open Inquiry
Type: Journal Article
Grade: High School