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Chemistry

Ken Porush

Photo of Ken PorushKen Porush has taught chemistry and AP Chemistry at Los Gatos HS, near San Jose, CA, since 2000.  Prior to LGHS, he taught chemistry, AP Chem, and physics at Abraham Lincoln HS in San Jose. Mr. Porush earned his B.S. in Psychobiology and his M.Ed. in secondary education, both from UCLA. He has served as a reader for the AP Chemistry exam, and has worked as a workshop and APSI consultant since 2002.  Mr. Porush also has been a reader for the Praxis exam, and has worked on the ACS HS Test Development Committee.  He is a rabid LA Dodgers fan, and has an abiding interest in the chemistry of food and wine. 

Course Description

This workshop will provide beginning and experienced AP Chem teachers with a basic understanding of the AP Chemistry curriculum and test, and assist them with organizing their course for the first time and/or making modifications to an existing framework.  

Participants will participate in lab activities as well as group work sessions to learn about the curriculum and its application to the AP test, and expand problem-solving strategies for AP-style questions.  

Participants will learn about the current outline of the AP Curriculum, and the format of the current exam. The course will allow for discussion of the current exam format, recent released exams & legacy test questions.  Time will be provided for participants to work on re-formatting traditional labs to fit the inquiry model, and to discuss challenges of adapting to the new curriculum/test.  An introduction to AP Classroom and other College Board Resources will be provided.

Topics will include:
  • Hands-on labs and demos for classroom use.
  • For new teachers: establishing an AP-level lab program; Introduction to the AP Chem Curriculum and exam; Planning out an AP Chem calendar (& sticking to it).
  • Questions and answers from new and experienced teachers.
  • Discussion of recent curriculum revisions, review of sample exam questions and released/ sample exam(s), and a survey of legacy exam questions.
  • Introduction to AP Classroom
  • Revising current labs to fit the inquiry model.
  • Collaboration time for new and experienced teachers.
  • One to two major topics from the AP curriculum addressed each day, with 2-3 relevant labs/demos. 
  • Helpful hints for preparing students for the AP Chem test.  
  • A thorough review of the 2024 AP Chem Exam FRQ.
What participants should bring:
  • Scientific Calculator
  • 2024 AP Chem Exam FRQ, with all problems attempted
  • AP Chem textbook, if you have one
  • E-copy of a favorite AP Chem lab or demo to share/discuss
  • E-copy of a traditional lab or activity which you would like to level up to AP standards or modify into an inquiry exercise.
  • Syllabus or unit outlines, if available

Agenda

Day 1
  • Introductions, goals and aims of the APSI
  • DEMO: Kinetics 
  • The AP Chemistry curriculum and exam: The CED
  • Resources and Planning
  • LAB: Descriptive Chem
  • Thermochemistry
  • LAB: Calorimetry
Day 2
  • Labs and Inquiry
  • More on planning
  • Analyzing the 2024 Exam
  • PES; electrochem; buffers
  • LAB: Buffers
  • LAB: Electrochem
  • LAB: kinetics or Ksp
Day 3
  • Scoring the AP Exam
  • Continue syllabus discussion and planning, as needed
  • Equilbrium, Acids-Bases
  • LAB: Acid-Base chemistry
  • LAB: Le Chatelier’s Principle
  • DEMO: Descriptive Chem & Equilibrium
Day 4
  • Thermochem; more on buffers, acid/base
  • “Best Practices” for maximizing student performance
  • More syllabus development (as needed) 
  • LAB: Thermochem
  • LAB: Weak acids & buffers

Time will be provided for networking between participants, modifying existing curriculum/assessments/ labs, and developing/modifying syllabi, as needed. 

Note: This course will be assessed a $35 lab fee. All science courses are conducted in labs equipped with state regulated safety equipment.