JCE 93.09 September 2016 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education September 2016

Engaging Student Interest and Inquiry

The September 2016 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: copper chemistry; safety; using brewing to teach chemistry; 3D-printed models; learning using games; open-ended approaches to teaching; innovative methods to teach biochemistry; polymer chemistry; organic synthesis labs; teaching physical chemistry; chemistry field trips.

Copper Chemistry


Reactions in gels help make a chemical process visual by slowing down the reaction rate, which allows students to observe a reaction process in detail. In Experimenting with a Visible Copper–Aluminum Displacement Reaction in Agar Gel and Observing Copper Crystal Growth Patterns To Engage Student Interest and Inquiry, Xinhua Xu, Meifen Wu, Xiaogang Wang, Yangyiwei Yang, Xiang Shi, and Guoping Wang describe an experiment in which the reaction process of copper–aluminum displacement in agar gel was observed at the microscopic level with a stereomicroscope. As shown on the cover, pine-like branches of copper crystals growing from aluminum surface into gel at a constant rate were observed. Students were asked to make hypotheses about the pattern formation and to design new research approaches to prove their hypotheses. Using this method, students carry out an experiment based on a specific chemical equation while also encountering the concepts of crystal growth and microcells through dramatic images of real-time change and visible crystal growth.

Laboratory experiments involving the chemistry of copper are also featured in:

Analysis of Copper-Bearing Rocks and Minerals for Their Metal Content Using Visible Spectroscopy: A First Year Chemistry Laboratory Exploration ~ A. M. R. P. Bopegedera

Application of Heterogeneous Copper Catalyst in a Continuous Flow Process: Dehydrogenation of Cyclohexanol ~ Marek Gliński, Urszula Ulkowska, and Ewa Iwanek


Safety should always be a concern in the chemistry classroom and laboratory. In the commentary Undergraduates Need a Safety Education!, Robert H. Hill Jr. discusses how safety education is absent in the chemistry curriculum and how to change this shortcoming.

Using Brewing To Teach Chemistry

Lowering Barriers to Undergraduate Research through Collaboration with Local Craft Breweries ~  Luke McDermott

Brewing as a Comprehensive Learning Platform in Chemical Engineering ~ Rudi P. Nielsen, Jens L. Sørensen, Morten E. Simonsen, Henrik T. Madsen, Jens Muff, Morten Strandgaard, and Erik G. Søgaard

3D-Printed Models

Creating and Using Interactive, 3D­Printed Models to Improve Student Comprehension of the Bohr Model of the Atom, Bond Polarity, and Hybridization ~ Karen Smiar and J. D. Mendez

Applying Hand-Held 3D Printing Technology to the Teaching of VSEPR Theory ~ Natalie L. Dean, Corrina Ewan, and J. Scott McIndoe

Do-It-Yourself: 3D Models of Hydrogenic Orbitals through 3D Printing ~ Kaitlyn M. Griffith, Riccardo de Cataldo, and Keir H. Fogarty

Creating 3­-Dimensional Molecular Models to Help Students Visualize Stereoselective Reaction Pathways ~ Matthew O’Brien

Learning Using Games

Orbital Battleship: A Guessing Game to Reinforce Atomic Structure ~ Mikhail Kurushkin and Maria Mikhaylenko

Chairs!: A Mobile Game for Organic Chemistry Students To Learn the Ring Flip of Cyclohexane ~ Julia Winter, Michael Wentzel, and Sonia Ahluwalia

Open-Ended Approaches to Teaching

Introducing Inquiry-Based Methodologies during Initial Secondary Education Teacher Training Using an Open­Ended Problem about Chemical Change ~ Iñigo Rodríguez‐Arteche and M. Mercedes Martínez‐Aznar

The Materials Characterization Central Laboratory: An Open-Ended Laboratory Program for Fourth-Year Undergraduate and Graduate Students ~ Chisato Izutani, Daisuke Fukagawa, Makoto Miyasita, Masaki Ito, Natsuhiko Sugimura, Reiko Aoyama, Takahiro Gotoh, Toshimichi Shibue, Yoko Igarashi, and Hiroshi Oshio

Analysis of Instructor Facilitation Strategies and Their Influences on Student Argumentation: A Case Study of a Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning Physical Chemistry Classroom ~ Courtney Stanford, Alena Moon, Marcy Towns, and Renée Cole

Innovative Methods to Teach Biochemistry

Impact of an In-Class Biochemistry Mini-conference on Students’ Perception of Science ~ Timea Gerczei

Evaluation of an Online Instructional Database Accessed by QR Codes To Support Biochemistry Practical Laboratory Classes ~ Tor Yip, Louise Melling, and Kirsty J. Shaw

Development of a Three-Tier Test as a Valid Diagnostic Tool for Identification of Misconceptions Related to Carbohydrates ~ Dušica D. Milenković, Tamara N. Hrin, Mirjana D. Segedinac, and Saša Horvat

Polymer Chemistry

Polymers and Cross-Linking: A CORE Experiment To Help Students Think on the Submicroscopic Level ~ Mitchell R. M. Bruce, Alice E. Bruce, Shirly Avargil, François G. Amar, Thomas M. Wemyss, and Virginia J. Flood

Chemical Oxidative Polymerization of Polyaniline: A Practical Approach for Preparation of Smart Conductive Textiles ~ Nedal Y. Abu‐Thabit

Blending Education and Polymer Science: Semiautomated Creation of a Thermodynamic Property Database ~ Roselyne B. Tchoua, Jian Qin, Debra J. Audus, Kyle Chard, Ian T. Foster, and Juan de Pablo

Organic Synthesis Labs

Synthesis of an Imidazolidinone Organocatalyst and Its Application in a Diels–Alder Cycloaddition: A Multistep Experiment for the Organic Teaching Laboratory ~ John J. Murphy, Ross B. Driver, Ria Walsh, and John C. Stephens

Water Mediated Wittig Reactions of Aldehydes in the Teaching Laboratory: Using Sodium Bicarbonate for the in Situ Formation of Stabilized Ylides ~ Michael J. B. Kelly, Lucas B. Fallot, Jeffrey L. Gustafson, and B. Mikael Bergdahl

Synthesis and Characterization of 1,4­-Dihydro­3,1­benzoxazines and 1,2,3,4­-Tetrahydroquinazolines: An Unknown Structure Determination Experiment ~ Holly D. Bendorf, Emily N. Vebrosky, and Brian J. Eck

Teaching Physical Chemistry

Rethinking Undergraduate Physical Chemistry Curricula ~ Stephen R. Miller

Determining the Enthalpy of Vaporization of Salt Solutions Using the Cooling Effect of a Bubble Column Evaporator ~ Chao Fan and Richard M. Pashley

Determination of Surface Tension of Surfactant Solutions through Capillary Rise Measurements: An Image­-Processing Undergraduate Laboratory Experiment ~ Cristián Huck‐Iriart, Ariel De‐Candia, Javier Rodriguez, and Carlos Rinaldi

Measurement of Ring Strain Using Butanols: A Physical Chemistry Lab Experiment ~ William R. Martin, Ada S. Davidson, and David W. Ball

Comment on “Thermodynamics of Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) Micellization: An Undergraduate Laboratory Experiment” ~ Xinhua Xu

Teaching the Concept of Gibbs Energy Minimization through Its Application to Phase­-Equilibrium Calculation ~ Romain Privat, Jean‐Noël Jaubert, Etienne Berger, Lucie Coniglio, Cécile Lemaitre, Dimitrios Meimaroglou, and Valérie Warth

Interactively Applying the Variational Method to the Dihydrogen Molecule: Exploring Bonding and Antibonding ~ Vinícius Wilian D. Cruzeiro, Adrian Roitberg, and Nicolas C. Polfer

Distilling the Archives: Chemistry Field Trips

Brian J. Malbrecht, Michael G. Campbell, Yu‐Sheng Chen, and Shao‐Liang Zheng discuss Teaching Outside the Classroom: Field Trips in Crystallography Education for Chemistry Students. Using field trips to make chemistry connections have been explored in past issues of the Journal. For example, see:

Chemistry Tours for High School Students: Connecting Chemistry and Business ~ Jenelle Ball

Development and Implementation of a Series of Laboratory Field Trips for Advanced High School Students To Connect Chemistry to Sustainability ~ Katherine B. Aubrecht, Linda Padwa, Xiaoqi Shen, and Gloria Bazargan

Field Trips Put Chemistry in Context for Non-Science Majors ~ Keith E. Peterman

The Use of Field Trips in a Nonscience Majors Course ~ C. H. Breedlove Jr.

Thinking Outside the Classroom: Integrating Field Trips into a First-Year Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum ~ Kaya Forest and Sierra Rayne

The Grapes of Class: Teaching Chemistry Concepts at a Winery ~ Linda A. Luck and Ryan M. Blondo

Characterizing Water Quality in Students' Own Community ~ S. K. Lunsford, Nicole Speelman, Amber Yeary, and William Slattery

JCE Engages Interest and Inquiry

With 93 volumes of the Journal of Chemical Education to explore, you will always find something interesting and worth inquiry—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.

Do you have something engaging to share? Write it up for the Journal! For some advice on becoming an author, read Erica Jacobsen’s Commentary. In addition, numerous author resources are available on JCE’s ACS Web site, including: Author Guidelines, Document Templates, and Reference Guidelines. The Journal has issued a call for papers on Polymer Concepts across the Curriculum, so consider submitting a contribution to our next special issue (deadline: October 24, 2016).