Eavesdropping on Professional Chemists

My husband and I are both chemists, but in very different capacities.  My focus is teaching while he is a lab supervisor.  As such, we have very different discussions when we meet with colleagues.  Usually.  A few weeks ago we attended a meeting together and I felt right at home.  The discussion topic was lab audits.  This is when fellow chemists enter a different lab and make sure that everyon

JCE AP Special Issue

The Journal of Chemical Education AP Special Issue is in print. Greg Rushton and I were happy to highlight the special issue for high school chemistry teachers and other stake holders at BCCE in August. If you haven't already taken a look at the articles, I hope you will find some time to check them out. I encourage you to read the first article of the following list.

The Atomic Dashboard

If you are on Twitter and follow #chemchat, you may have recently seen some beautiful, rotating 3D atomic and molecular models from Dave Doherty @atomsNMolecules. I was curious about these models and after contacting Dave, he introduced me to The Atomic Dashboard.

Build a Boat Collaboration

I want to learn more about the modeling approach to teaching chemistry, but have not yet found the time to attend training. It seems like modeling would be the next logical step after the flipped classroom method of instruction that I have used for the last four years. My goal in using modeling is to continue to move from a teacher centered classroom to an environment wherein students take on true ownership of their own learning. As luck would have it, I met some experienced modelers at a Biennial Conference on Chemical Education 2014 (BCCE 2014) Birds-of-a-Feather lunchtime chat and got to pick the brain of Erica Posthuma-Adams, and others, regarding this instructional approach. Their passion for modeling was clear and their willingness to share effective strategies for building a classroom around modeling was most appreciated.

Encouraging Words

Here in Michigan we are entering into our 4th week of school. My Honors Chemistry 1 students will be having their first test this week and my Chemistry 2 students will be having their stoichiometry test in 2 weeks. Things are moving along and I am daily observing improvement in my students. 

Oxidation of diphenylmethanol to benzophenone

I'm looking for a reliable procedure for an undergraduate organic lab experiment: oxidation of diphenylmethanol to benzophenone.  I am updating our lab experiments and was thinking about introducing phase transfer catalysis, linked to a 2-step Grignard synthesis ( bromobenzene --> phenylmagnesium bromide  -->  diphenylmethanol  --> benzophenone).  I have found a JChem Ed paper that sug