For Upper School AP Chemistry teacher Rose Dunlap, teaching chemistry is about practice, application, and hands-on demonstrations. Ms. Dunlap uses a flipped classroom setting where students read and watch lectures prior to class, and then spend class time working through practice problems, discussing lab demonstrations, and performing experiments.
“Using class time for practice provides a window into what students know and allows me to address misconceptions before we move to the next unit of class,” says Dunlap. “I create a lot of time for practice so my students can master the material and feel well prepared for the AP exam in the spring.”
As a second year chemistry course, Dunlap says “the class relies on the foundation laid in Honors Accelerated Chemistry, and covers much of the content found in a college-level General Chemistry course.”
Recently, Dunlap’s AP Chemistry students performed an acid-base titration experiment as part of their acid and bases unit. The goal of this experiment is to determine the amount of acid in a solution by measuring the pH values over a period of time. Students created graphs and analyzed the data to identify the amount of acid in the solution.
“This experiment teaches basic lab skills students use in a college chemistry class,” Dunlap says. “It provides a low-risk opportunity to apply acid-base concepts and problem-solving skills to different types of data.”
By performing college-level experiments, Dunlap’s AP Chemistry students develop important skills while tackling complex chemistry concepts, preparing them for the spring AP exam and for future science courses.
“St. Mary’s students work hard and challenge themselves without me having to push them,” says Dunlap. “My students are joyful about the learning process. They always want to know more.”
Dunlap, who is in her 16th year at St. Mary’s, also teaches Honors Accelerated Chemistry. After graduating from Emory University with a bachelor’s in chemistry, Dunlap received her master’s in chemistry from Florida State University.
- Upper School