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Physical Science 107: Vocabulary Building

Here is a direct link to the words we discussed today:


Chem 203: Study Group Tomorrow 1pm to 3pm – Rm 3937

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will be in room 3937 from 1 to 3 working on acid/base equilibrium problems and answering questions about laboratory calculations. I hope you will stop by.

Gardening: Fall Orange

The mums are in full bloom just as Fall begins. This bunch began as a small plant in the Spring and has trippled in size.



In the background you can see ripe tomatoes on the vine. The bushy plant in the back on the left is celery – just in time for celery soup.

And sadly the coy have all been eaten but for some reason the goldfish have escaped this fate. Their orange bodies can easily be seen in this photograph.



The pale lavendar of the hosta in bloom is a nice contrast to the orange fish.

Chemistry 203: Handout on Acid-Base Problem Types

Please take a look at this handout:

Chem 121: Chocolate Mousse and Elemental Business Cards

We’ve been learning about colloid: one phase of matter dispersed in another. This classification of matter includes foams, slurries, smoke, jello, clay, homogenized milk, and many other substances. What better way to learn than to make a delicious colloid – chocolate mouse – a dispersion of chocolate fat and air in water.

Making chocolate mousse

Making Chocolate Mousse: Melting

Chocolate Mousse is made in two steps – the chocolate must be melted with water and then whipped into a foam.

Making Chocolate Mousse

Making Chocolate Mousse: Whipping

Once the mousse is finished¬† students learned about the elements by trading business cards they’d made on a chosen element. This gave each student a chance to teach the class about the element they had researched.

Trading Business Cards

Trading Business Cards

This activity is also described in the following video:

Chem 121: Review for Exam One

There will be a review for exam one scheduled to take place in room 3937 on Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 3. I hope you will attend. This is a good opportunity to have some extra practice solving problems.

PS 107: Jeopardy Game is available online

Here is the link:

Chem 121: Chapters 3 & 4 Homework is posted

Here is a direct link:

Chem 203: Small Group Study Session

Tomorrow (Wednesday September 12th) I will plan to meet with whomever is interested to work additional problems and answer any questions for Chemistry 203. I’ve asked for room 3937 (the same room as last time). If it isn’t available (and I think it will be) then I will leave information about the room where I am with the department secretary. She is in room 3175 (my current office). I hope to see you tomorrow.

Chem 121: Syllabus Update

The syllabus has been updated through week five. The first exam will be on September 20th (Thursday) and will cover the material in Chapters 1,2,3, and 4. The business card activity is due September 13th (Thursday). I will schedule study groups on the 17th and the 19th that will begin at 1:30. If you have questions and want to see me before this time I will have walk-in office hours on Monday, September 10th in the morning before 11:00 and in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00. I will also have walk-in office hours on Tuesday September 11th at 4:00.  One September 12th, Wednesday, I will be in my office all day with the exception of class time (11 to 12:20) and Chem 203 study group from 1 to 3. On Thursday, September 13th, I will be available at 4:00.

Phy Sci 107 and English 101: Ginkgo Garden Trip

Our learning community, Food Matters, visited Ginkgo Organic Garden today. Susan, a volunteer at the garden, gave us a very informative tour. Here are some highlights:

Truman Learning Community Students: Food Matters

Truman Learning Community Students: Food Matters

Not all of the students fit in this first photograph. They are arranging themselves in a small space in front of the herb garden. You’ll see lots of chives in this photograph and a fig tree! The fig tree survives the Chicago winter by being burried in the soil.

More students

More students

Here’s another view. Someone has an unbrella. We were very fortunate it didn’t rain during out trip. The day started out with lots of rain.

Carrots in the bathtub

Carrots in the bathtub

There were many examples of container gardening. Here are some carrots and, if you can spot it, a little mushroom. The carrots appear to be enjoying they iron and ceramic home.

Butterfly wanna be...

Butterfly wanna be...

This very beautiful caterpillar is eating away getting ready for his transformation. Bugs are an important part of a garden.

Earth worms

Earth worms

Susan holds some rich composted soil oozing with worms and explains how healthy this mixture is for supporting vigorous plants.

Healthy bounty

Healthy bounty

The produce grown in this garden is donated to a food pantry and helps to feed our community. 1000s of pounds of vegetables are grown in this urban garden.

Susan gives a tour

Susan gives a tour

Susan was a wonderful tour guide – the students asked so many questions. We all learned something today!

Chemistry 203: Chapter 22

Here are the main ideas from Chapter 22. Use this as a check list to make sure you are ready for the test.

1. Oxides progress from basic to acidic as one goes across the periodic table from left to right.

2. Noble gases are very unreactive, very stable. It is possible to make compounds with xenon.

3. Halogens exist as diatomic molecules.

4. Hydrogen reacts with a halogen to make a hydrogen halide.

5. Know the oxyacids of the halogens: perchloric acid, chloric acid, chlorous acid and hypochlorous acid.

6. Be able to compare and contrast oxygen and sulfur (Table 22.9)

7. Describe the Frasch process

8. Write the Haber-Bosch reaction.

9. Know the structure of white phosphorus.

10. Why is sulfuric acid produces in greater quantity than any other compound in most developed countries? What is its primary use?


Chem 203: Today’s Study Group

We’ve been given room 3937. I will be there at 1:00 pm.

Prof. Walker

Phy Sci 107: Ginkgo Organic Gardens

Today our class will visit Ginkgo Organic Gardens!

I am really looking forward to this trip.

Chem 121: Class Data – Flour and Water

Here are links to the two excel files: (right click and save)


Chemistry: Student Interviews

I’m still missing many interviews. If you have not completed this assignment, please access the file at the following direct link:

Fill it out an email it to

Thank you.


Gardening: August Bounty

I took these photographs a few weeks ago but then the Fall semester started with a very busy faculty development week and I wasn’t able to post the until now. In the Spring when I did the planting it seemed like everything was small. It is hard to imagine what will happen in August – the plants become gigantic – more than one ever expects. Ask yourself this question – where does that mass come from??

Hidden Cucumber

Hidden Cucumber

It is such a delight to forage for what the garden has to offer. Vegetables hide from view to stay protected. Sometimes if you don’t find cucumbers early enough they grow to gigantic sizes – filling up with water. The harvest of cucumbers was excellent. I was able to share the bounty with friends. I learned a new recipe – simply slice them, add some fresh lemon juice, a dash of salt and pepper and enjoy!

Pond: August 2012

Pond: August 2012

The pond continues to be a challenge. Some wild animal has discovered the fish and comes to eat one from time to time. This creature, and I’ve never seen it, seems to leave the goldfish alone but gobbles up the coy. Today I have one coy left.

Herbs, Corn and Broccoli

Herbs, Corn and Broccoli

So far this summer we’ve enjoyed fresh beans, cumcumbers, corn, broccoli, herbs, strawberries, rasberries, tomatos, chili peppers, green peppers, celery, lettuce and potatoes. I would say that is a lot from an urban backyard!

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