In this unit you will be carrying out an investigation of your choice. It could be a controlled experiment or an investigation into chemistry working in everyday life. Your assignment is to create a podcast to communicate your findings to the general public in a way that expands their knowledge, improves their understanding,and fosters scientific literacy .

You will be assessed on the following:

1. Name of podcast - Relevant and original.

2. Planning - Podcast has a clear structure – an opening, discussion and closing.

3. Sound - Podcast is enhanced with high quality and appropriate sound effects and music. There is no distortion of sound and background noise is minimized.

4. Grammar - Use of proper nouns and verbs. Substances and materials are named correctly. Generalizations, vague and imprecise words are avoided.

5. Vocal Expression - Strong, clear vocal expression with good articulation and pronunciation. The speed of delivery is acceptable and there is variation in tone, volume and speed. Pauses are used effectively when transitioning between questions and speakers. Filler words such as umm” and “like” are minimal.

6. Voice – Upbeat conversational style that is not stilted or contrived.

7. Length - Podcast keeps the listeners interested to the end. It is not so long that the listeners lose interest or too short that the listeners are left with a superficial understanding. 5-10 minutes recommended.

8. Audience - The podcast is designed for the general public. It conveys science in a way that is engaging and easy to understand. The information and explanations are clearly articulated.

9. Understanding – Podcast shows a depth of understanding of chemistry concepts and ideas.

10. Questioning - The questions allow for critical analysis. This means they will illicit responses that explain, evaluate, and compare rather than merely describe or name.

Question Ideas

What made you investigate this particular topic? What interested you in it? How did you decide on this particular one?

What were you expecting to find?

Did your findings confirm your initial expectations?

What evidence do you have to support your conclusions?

Why should people trust your findings? What did you do to ensure that the results were as accurate (limitations in the method, difficulty controlling variables) and precise (repeated measurements, equipment choice)?

Chemistry is an experimental science. What makes your research an experiment?

How was chemistry involved in your investigation?

Explain (using a specific example) how you approached an aspect of this research that was unfamiliar?

Were there any aspects of your project that went beyond your capability to investigate or verify?

Describe one challenge you faced and explain how you tried to overcome it? Think about planning and organization, controlling variables, finding precise methods of measurement, making it work, collecting sufficient reliable data, deciding what was important, explaining the results, not being sure what to expect, achieving trustworthy and reliable results, communicating your ideas, lack of prior knowledge and experience, working in a team.

Describe the strengths of your investigation. Possible things to consider are: planning,
methods of measurement and data collection,
controlling variables, data analysis, working in a team

If you could continue with this investigation what direction would it take and why?

How did your knowledge and understanding of Chemistry change over the course of this investigation?

What role if any did imagination and creativity play in this investigation?

Did you use technology? How dependent were you on it?

How do your findings help explain what happens in the real world?

Some good Science podcasts online are:
60 Second Science - from Scientific American, NASACast - one of the many podcasts from NASA, The Naked Scientist - podcast from The U.K, Quirks and Quarks - from CBC Canada and ScienceFriday - podcast from NPR US, Science Times - from The New York Times Science Section, Discovery News Bulletin - from Discovery Channel.


How to make a Podcast

Student Podcasts

What causes apples to brown?

How to clean silver

Comparing the dyes used in M&M's and Skittles

Poppy seeds and drug tests

Alcohol Facial Flush (Asian Glow)

How helium gas makes your voice change