Welcome to Second Semester

It’s strange to be starting the year in January, and I’m sure it will take a couple weeks for us all to adjust, but welcome to Dr. Germain’s chemistry class! Some of you have had me before, and some have known me from student council, and some have never even seen me before. We’ll learn, we’ll have fun, we’ll get frustrated and just want Chemistry to go away (well you might, I love this stuff).

For the past 6ish months I have been in a completely new role, being a mom to my daughter, Raegan. I, however, have not completely left chemistry behind since the summer. During my maternity leave there were many times where I had to use chemistry to solve everyday problems, believe it or not. For example, at Christmas time when we were putting out our window candles that are battery operated, we noticed that the batteries had leaked all over and rendered the candles useless…or were they?! (cue dramatic music) Although it is CALLED battery ACID, it’s actually a BASIC liquid that leaks from batteries. In order to get rid of the sticky mess and properly celebrate Christmas at my house, we had to NEUTRALIZE that base with an acid. No, I do not have a storage closet with crazy chemicals in my basement, we used normal vinegar, which is an ACID, to neutralize the base that was ruining our Yuletide! We poured a little vinegar into our candles (after we removed the batteries of course), we saw some bubbling (that told us the reaction was working) and viola!! We had removed the battery junk and had clean, ready to sparkle candles!! Just one example of how a little knowledge of chemistry can go a long way, even if you never really understand what the heck a trigonal planar molecule looks like!

My goal is to get you to improve your problem solving skills, understand a bit more about the microscopic world that is going on around you, and give you a good excuse not to clean your room (entropy is the key)!! I expect hard work and determination, but we’ll get to June sooner than you think! Wishful thinking on a 5 degree day…

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