Fall 2014 Meeting – Thiel College

The Fall 2014 meeting is just around the corner!  If you haven’t submitted your abstract yet, please do so (see the post below for information.)  This post is meant to provide you with some additional information.  As soon as the schedule is developed, it will be posted here.


Invited Speaker:  Megan Nagel, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

Potential Energy: Perspectives from a Chemist

Recently, the topic of energy has been receiving increased attention in science education research literature, highlighting an interdisciplinary approach to the topic.   In chemistry courses alone, the topic of energy is introduced in numerous contexts including bond enthalpies, quantized energy, lattice energy, intermolecular forces, and nuclear energy.  The basis for many of these topics begins with an understanding of potential energy and electrostatic interactions which goes beyond that reached in a typical first-semester physics course.  So while students have not been exposed to the relevant content in physics, chemistry faculty operate under the assumption that a foundation is present for describing processes involving electrostatically interacting particles and their associated energies.  Our recent work has found that even after the appropriate instruction in both chemistry and physics, the majority of students still struggle to describe the basic relationship between particle position and electrostatic potential energy.  In particular, students do not spontaneously draw on concepts from physics when asked about energy in chemical contexts. We are researching the efficacy of an instructional sequence of scaffolded questions to help guide students to make relevant connections between their existing knowledge of gravitational potential energy and the required knowledge of electrostatic potential energy necessary for understanding countless chemical interactions.

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Local Accommodation Information:

  • Bethaven Inn- 386 Hamilton Avenue, Meadville, Pa. 16335
  • Buhl Mansion- 422 East State Street, Sharon, Pa. 16146
  • Casa DaCosta Bed & Breakfast- 116 West Market Street, Mercer, Pa. 16137
  • Cianci’s Motel- 395 Mercer Road, Greenville, Pa. 16125
  • Colonial Inn Motel- 383 North Perry Highway Route 19, North Mercer, Pa. 16137
  • Farma Family Campground- 87 Hughey Road, Greenville, Pa. 16125
  • Holiday Inn Express- 18240 Conneaut Lake Road, Meadville, Pa. 16335
  • Holiday Inn Express- 3060 Spangler Road, West Middlesex, Pa. 16159
  • Mayor Lord’s House Bed & Breakfast- 654 Park Avenue, Meadville, Pa. 16335
  • Mercer Motel- 213 Franklin Street (Junction 19 and 62), Mercer, Pa. 16137
  • Monroe Heights Hotel- 2049 Leesburg-Grove City Road, Grove City, Pa. 16127
  • Park Inn by Radisson- 3377 New Castle Road, West Middlesex, Pa. 16159
  • Plant’s Herb Farm Bed & Breakfast- 104 South Foster Road, Mercer, Pa. 16137
  • Seven Sisters Bed & Breakfast- 810 Hamburg Road, Fredonia, Pa. 16124
  • Quality Inn of Hermitage- 3200 South Hermitage Road, Hermitage, Pa. 16159
  • Red Roof Inn- 2700 Wilson Road, Hermitage, Pa. 16148
  • Tara, A Country Inn- 2844 Lake Road, Clark, Pa. 16113