Wait… Chemistry can be fun?!

Here at Florida Tech, one of the best things that we have to offer are amazing teachers. A good teacher is someone that helps his or her students understand difficult material by presenting it in a way that is easily digestible. A good teacher is always there to answer questions and help their students. One of my favorite teachers is Dr. Olson.

Dr. Olson is a chemistry professor, teaching general chemistry 1 and general chemistry 2. I first took Dr. Olson for general chemistry 1 and I absolutely loved his class. His lectures were always fun and interesting and his demos really kept my interest and tied in to what we were doing in class. I liked Dr. Olson’s class so much that I decided to take general chemistry 2 with him.

General chemistry 2 is not the most exciting topic on the planet, but Dr. Olson really presents it in a way that is fun. His lectures are not a boring PowerPoint presentation that puts people to sleep. He keeps his lectures fun, writing everything on the board and adding relevant stories and experiences to the class. It is one thing to present chemicals to a class and state that they are dangerous or have strong reactions, but it is another thing to have personal experiences and anecdotes that tie into the material that we are learning about.

While Dr. Olson’s lectures are above average, it is his demos that really make his classes interesting and sets him apart from other professors. Last semester for general chemistry 1, Dr. Olson did a lot of demos that tied into the class material. He did experiments with different chemicals as well as different reactions. We even got trail mix for our stoichiometry section! This semester was not as eventful however, Dr. Olson has done two demos. The first demo was a dehydration demo that formed carbon from sugar and the second demo involved fire (which was obviously my favorite!). First, Dr. Olson showed the combustibility of hydrogen gas in a balloon. Then, after the single balloon, he showed a chain reaction of hydrogen balloons exploding.

If you get the chance to take Dr. Olson for general chemistry 1 or general chemistry 2, I would highly recommend it! He has amazing demos, interesting lectures, and is always willing to help students when they need it!

Carbon formed through dehydration


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