JCE 93.06 June 2016 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education June 2016

Visualizations for Chemistry Teaching and Learning

The June 2016 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: visualizations for chemistry teaching and learning, periodic table resources for teaching visually impaired students, biochemistry in the classroom and laboratory, spectroscopy in the laboratory, commentaries on analytical chemistry topics, resources for teaching, distilling the archives: guided-inquiry experiments.


In the Editorial Communicating Chemistry in Informal Environments: A Framework for Chemists, Mary M. Kirchhoff of the Education Division of the ACS discusses a recent report by the National Academies, Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments. This freely available resource offers a framework to guide and encourage chemists in engaging successfully with the public.

Visualizations for Chemistry Teaching and Learning

Visualizing Molecular Chirality: Cover Feature

The cholesteric liquid crystal phase is a fluid in which rod-like molecules are orientationally ordered, with an overall helical twist. Such phases can be induced by adding a chiral solute to an (achiral) nematic liquid crystal. With sufficiently powerful chiral dopants, the pitch of the twist is on the order of the wavelength of visible light, and the phase will selectively reflect circularly polarized light. This property allows for a straightforward macroscopic visualization of molecular chirality. In Visualizing Molecular Chirality in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory Using Cholesteric Liquid Crystals, Maia Popova, Stacey Lowery Bretz, and C. Scott Hartley describe a simple experiment in which students synthesize a single enantiomer of a chiral dopant and then dissolve it in a commercially available liquid crystal host. A film on a glass slide allows students to deduce the absolute configuration of their starting material by observing the reflection of light through the filters in disposable glasses for 3D video.

Visualization Using Models

Promoting Representational Competence with Molecular Models in Organic Chemistry ~ Andrew T. Stull, Morgan Gainer, Shamin Padalkar, and Mary Hegarty

Effectiveness of Inquiry-Based Lessons Using Particulate Level Models To Develop High School Students’ Understanding of Conceptual Stoichiometry ~ Stephanie Kimberlin and Ellen Yezierski

Big Atoms for Small Children: Building Atomic Models from Common Materials To Better Visualize and Conceptualize Atomic Structure ~ Laura Cipolla and Lia A. Ferrari

A Cost-Effective Physical Modeling Exercise To Develop Students’ Understanding of Covalent Bonding ~ Kristy L. Turner

Better Understanding Using Visualizations

Insights into How Students Learn the Difference between a Weak Acid and a Strong Acid from Cartoon Tutorials Employing Visualizations ~ Resa M. Kelly and Sevil Akaygun

Visualizing, Rather than Deriving, Russell–Saunders Terms: A Classroom Activity with Quantum Numbers ~ Paolo Coppo

Using Visualization To Teach Symmetry

Helping Students Understand the Role of Symmetry in Chemistry Using the Particle-in-a-Box Model ~ Meghna A. Manae and Anirban Hazra

Discovering Symmetry in Everyday Environments: A Creative Approach to Teaching Symmetry and Point Groups ~ Kei Fuchigami, Matthew Schrandt, and Gary L. Miessler

ConfChem Conference on Interactive Visualizations

ConfChem online conferences are free, open to the public, and run by the ACS DivCHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education (CCCE). The spring 2015 ConfChem conference discussed Interactive Visualizations for Chemistry Teaching and Learning.

ConfChem Conference on Interactive Visualizations for Chemistry Teaching and Learning: An Introduction ~ Robert Belford and Emily B. Moore

Insights into Molecular Visualization Design ~ Resa M. Kelly

Learning by Being—Playing Particles in the MeParticle–WeMatter Simulation ~ Elon Langbeheim and Sharona T. Levy

A Multimodal Examination of Visual Problem Solving ~ Sarah J. R. Hansen, Felicia M. Mensah, and Peter Gordon

Using an Interactive Simulation To Support Development of Expert Practices for Balancing Chemical Equations ~ Yuen-ying Carpenter, Emily B. Moore, and Katherine K. Perkins

Research into Practice—Visualizing the Molecular World for a Deep Understanding of Chemistry ~ Roy Tasker

The Cutting Edge—Educational Innovation, Disability Law, and Civil Rights ~ Emily B. Moore and Paul D. Grossman

Concerns Regarding Accessible Interfaces for Students Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision ~ Cary A. Supalo

Accessibility for PhET Interactive Simulations—Progress, Challenges, and Potential ~ Emily B. Moore

Periodic Table Resources for Teaching Visually Impaired Students

Evaluation of Existing and New Periodic Tables of the Elements for the Chemistry Education of Blind Students ~ Dennis Fantin, Marc Sutton, Lena J. Daumann, and Kael F. Fischer

Interlocking Toy Building Blocks as Hands-On Learning Modules for Blind and Visually Impaired Chemistry Students ~ Samuel Melaku, James O. Schreck, Kameron Griffin, and Rajeev B. Dabke

Biochemistry in the Classroom and Lab

Chemical Education Research Implementing an Active Learning Environment To Influence Students’ Motivation in Biochemistry ~ Camila Aparecida Tolentino Cicuto and Bayardo Baptista Torres

Team-Based Learning, Faculty Research, and Grant Writing Bring Significant Learning Experiences to an Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory Course ~ Hedeel Guy Evans, Deborah L. Heyl, and Peggy Liggit

Student-Led Development of an Interactive and Free Biochemical Methods eBook ~ Alyssa C. Hill, Logan M. Nickels, and Paul A. Sims


Searching for Synthetic Antimicrobial Peptides: An Experiment for Organic Chemistry Students ~ Thomas E. Vasquez Jr., Cristina Saldaña, Katy A. Muzikar, Debra Mashek, and Jane M. Liu

Purification and Electrophoretic Characterization of Lactate Dehydrogenase from Mammalian Blood: A Different Twist on a Classic Experiment ~ Linda S. Brunauer

Spectroscopy in the Laboratory

Gold(III)-Catalyzed Hydration of Phenylacetylene ~ J. Michelle Leslie and Benjamin A. Tzeel

Preparation of a Cobalt(II) Cage: An Undergraduate Laboratory Experiment That Produces a ParaSHIFT Agent for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ~ Patrick J. Burns, Pavel B. Tsitovich, and Janet R. Morrow

Synthesis and Characterization of a Perovskite Barium Zirconate (BaZrO3): An Experiment for an Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory ~ Todsapon Thananatthanachon

Determining the Energetics of the Hydrogen Bond through FTIR: A Hands-On Physical Chemistry Lab Experiment ~ Abby C. Guerin, Kristi Riley, Kresimir Rupnik, and Daniel G. Kuroda

Determining the Structure of Oxalate Anion Using Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy Coupled with Gaussian Calculations ~ Karen I. Peterson and David P. Pullman

Commentaries on Analytical Chemistry Topics

Clarifying Misconceptions about Mass and Concentration Sensitivity ~ Pawel L. Urban

My Dear Buret, Your Time Has Indeed Come! ~ Jonathan E. Thompson and Ly Brode

Resources for Teaching

Harnessing a Mobile Social Media App To Reinforce Course Content ~ Andrew L. Korich

ChemBrows: An Open-Source Application Software To Keep Up to Date with the Current Literature ~ Jean-Patrick Francoia and Laurent Vial

Using Least Squares To Solve Systems of Equations ~ Joel Tellinghuisen

Review of The Lost Elements: The Periodic Table’s Shadow Side ~ Jeffrey Kovac

Review of Early Responses to the Periodic System ~ Robert E. Buntrock

Review of ChemConnections Activity Workbook ~ Shannon Andrews

Distilling the Archives: Guided-Inquiry Experiments

In this issue, Nimesh Mistry, Christopher Fitzpatrick, and Stephen Gorman describe a laboratory in which students Design Your Own Workup: A Guided-Inquiry Experiment for Introductory Organic Laboratory Courses. Some guided-inquiry experiments from past issues include:

The Dynamic Density Bottle: A Make-and-Take, Guided Inquiry Activity on Density ~ Thomas S. Kuntzleman

Filling a Plastic Bag with Carbon Dioxide: A Student-Designed Guided-Inquiry Lab for Advanced Placement and College Chemistry Courses ~ Laura M. Lanni

A Guided Inquiry Liquid/Liquid Extractions Laboratory for Introductory Organic Chemistry ~ Margaret L. Raydo, Megan S. Church, Zane W. Taylor, Christopher E. Taylor, and Amy M. Danowitz

Like Dissolves Like: A Guided Inquiry Experiment for Organic Chemistry ~ Ingrid Montes, Chunqiu Lai, and David Sanabria

An Interdisciplinary Guided Inquiry Laboratory for First Year Undergraduate Forensic Science Students ~ Sarah L. Cresswell and Wendy A. Loughlin

Visualizing a Great Resource: JCE

With 93 volumes of the Journal of Chemical Education to see and experience, you will always find something informative—including the articles mentioned above, and many more, in the Journal of Chemical Education. Articles that are edited and published online ahead of print (ASAP—As Soon As Publishable) are also available.

Summer is here! Please consider submitting a contribution to the Journal of Chemical Education. Erica Jacobsen’s Commentary gives great advice on writing for the Journal. In addition, numerous author resources are available on JCE’s ACS Web site, including: Author Guidelines, Document Templates, and Reference Guidelines. The Journal has recently issued a call for papers on Polymer Concepts across the Curriculum, so consider submitting a contribution to our next special issue.