As presented at the 2013 SENCER Summer Institute in San Jose, CA
Wednesday Fun Facts are my response to the UN International Year of Chemistry in 2011. They were my way of raising awareness and appreciation of "The Chemistry of Everyday Things." I would begin Wednesday's lecture with a brief 10-15 minute presentation on something cool in everyday life that can be explained through chemistry. They answer the question "How does it work?" "Why does it do that?" "How come 'they' always say...?" etc. They often, but not always, tied into something we were discussing in lecture. Student's loved them so much, I continue them today. Students have even been inspired to ask their own "How does it work?" questions and prepare their own WFFs that they have presented to the class.
Here are one-slide synopses of several Wednesday Fun Facts I might present during a semester. Often I will have supplemental slides or information to convey. After a short introduction, I open the floor for discussion and questions. The direction these conversations go is often both predictable and unpredictable. My set-up will often leave an obvious question or contradiction or argument unstated to bait the students into thinking for themselves. Most topics allow for a discussion of the interplay of science, politics, money, environment, and safety.
I have many more Wednesday Fun Facts. Contact me for more information.