JCE 94.12 December 2017 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education December 2017 Cover

Improving Student Perception and Performance 

The December 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: functional nanomaterials and chemical detection; improving student performance; peer-led instruction; simulations and computer-based learning; engaging and interactive instruction; synthesis laboratories; NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry; innovative physical chemistry investigations; ConfChem Conference on select 2016 BCCE presentations; from the archives: music and chemistry.


Norbert J. Pienta highlights Journal of Chemical Education content in 2017 and acknowledges contributors to the Journal in Volume 94 in Review.

Cover: Functional Nanomaterials and Chemical Detection

Carbon nanomaterials have promising utility in chemical sensing, including applications in preserving occupational safety, monitoring of environmental pollution, and human health. In Fabrication of Solid-State Gas Sensors by Drawing: An Undergraduate and High School Introduction to Functional Nanomaterials and Chemical Detection, Merry K. Smith, Daphnie G. Martin-Peralta, Polina A. Pivak, and Katherine A. Mirica describe a safe and engaging laboratory exercise in which hand-drawn graphite electrodes and carbon nanotube sensing materials mechanically abraded on thermally shrinkable polymer films produce functional gas sensors capable of detecting gaseous analytes. The resulting fully-drawn miniaturized gas sensors introduce students to fundamental and applied aspects of solid-state device fabrication, chemical detection, and data analysis.

Improving Student Performance

Reforming a Large Foundational Course: Successes and Challenges ~ Vicente Talanquer and John Pollard (this article is available to non-subscribers as part of ACS’s Editors’ Choice program.)

Concept Inventories: Predicting the Wrong Answer May Boost Performance ~ Vicente Talanquer

Improving General Chemistry Course Performance through Online Homework-Based Metacognitive Training ~ Brock L. Casselman and Charles H. Atwood 

Comparing Student Performance Using Computer and Paper-Based Tests: Results from Two Studies in General Chemistry ~ Anna A. Prisacari, Thomas A. Holme, and Jared Danielson

Practicing What We Preach: Assessing “Critical Thinking” in Organic Chemistry ~ Ryan L. Stowe and Melanie M. Cooper

Boot Camp To Improve Student Perception and Performance in Sophomore Organic Chemistry? Hoorah! ~ Matthew R. Siebert, Todd E. Daniel, and Brian D. High

Peer-Led Instruction

Tailoring Clicker Technology to Problem-Based Learning: What’s the Best Approach? ~ Russell J. Pearson (This article is available to non-subscribers as part of ACS’s AuthorChoice program.)

Peer Mentor Program for the General Chemistry Laboratory Designed To Improve Undergraduate STEM Retention ~ Fehmi Damkaci, Timothy F. Braun, and Kristin Gublo

Developing and Implementing Lab Skills Seminars, a Student-Led Learning Approach in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory: Mentoring Current Students While Benefiting Facilitators ~ Kalyani Sabanayagam, Vivek. D. Dani, Matthew John, Wanda Restivo, Svetlana Mikhaylichenko, and Shadi Dalili

Teaching Students To Be Instrumental in Analysis: Peer-Led Team Learning in the Instrumental Laboratory ~ Jacob L. Williams, Martin E. Miller, Brianna C. Avitabile, Dillon L. Burrow, Allison N. Schmittou, Meagan K. Mann, and Leslie A. Hiatt

Compute-to-Learn: Authentic Learning via Development of Interactive Computer Demonstrations within a Peer-Led Studio Environment ~ Mina Jafari, Alicia Rae Welden, Kyle L. Williams, Blair Winograd, Ellen Mulvihill, Heidi P. Hendrickson, Michael Lenard, Amy Gottfried, and Eitan Geva

Evaluating the Impact of the “Teaching as a Chemistry Laboratory Graduate Teaching Assistant” Program on Cognitive and Psychomotor Verbal Interactions in the Laboratory ~ A. Flaherty, A. O’Dwyer, P. Mannix-McNamara, and J. J. Leahy

Simulations and Computer-Based Learning

Introduction to Stochastic Simulations for Chemical and Physical Processes: Principles and Applications ~ Charles J. Weiss

Visualization of Metal Ion Buffering via Three-Dimensional Topographic Surfaces (Topos) of Complexometric Titrations ~ Garon C. Smith and Md Mainul Hossain

Engaging and Interactive Instruction

Where Science Intersects Pop Culture: An Informal Science Education Outreach Program ~ R. Burks, K. D. Deards, and E. DeFrain

Learn on the Move: A Problem-Based Induction Activity for New University Chemistry Students ~ Dylan P. Williams

Teaching Classes of Organic Compounds with a Sticky Note on Forehead Game ~ Kevin P. O’Halloran

Addition to “Gas Law Property Demonstrations Using Plastic Water Bottles”: Safety Comment and Extension ~ Miah M. Montes and Dean J. Campbell

Synthesis Laboratories

Nanoparticle Synthesis, Characterization, and Ecotoxicity: A Research-Based Set of Laboratory Experiments for a General Chemistry Course ~ Zoe N. Amaris, Daniel N. Freitas, Karen Mac, Kyle T. Gerner, Catherine Nameth, and Korin E. Wheeler

A Tale of Two Metabolites: Using the Separation of Urea and Cholesterol To Bridge the Gap between General and Organic Chemistry ~ Nicola Y. Edwards, Frank Yepez Castillo, and Gina Baiamonte

Combining Novel Visualizations and Synthesis To Explore Structure–Property Relationships Using Cobalt Complexes ~ Justin M. Pratt, James P. Birk, David L. Tierney, and Ellen J. Yezierski

Trispyrazolylborate Complexes: An Advanced Synthesis Experiment Using Paramagnetic NMR, Variable-Temperature NMR, and EPR Spectroscopies ~ Timothy N. Abell, Robert M. McCarrick, Stacey Lowery Bretz, and David L. Tierney

Correction to “Pericyclic or Pseudopericyclic? The Case of an Allylic Transposition in the Synthesis of a Saccharin Derivative” ~ Stephanie R. Hare and Dean J. Tantillo

NMR Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry

An Analysis of Ethanol in Commercial Liquors via Quantitative NMR Spectroscopy ~ Rebecca A. Hill and Christopher P. Nicholson

qHNMR Analysis of Purity of Common Organic Solvents—An Undergraduate Quantitative Analysis Laboratory Experiment ~ Peter T. Bell, W. Lance Whaley, Alyssa D. Tochterman, Karl S. Mueller, and Linda D. Schultz

Scaffolding Students’ Skill Development by First Introducing Advanced Techniques through the Synthesis and 15N NMR Analysis of Cinnamamides ~ Sara Shuldburg and Jennifer Carroll

Introducing Graduate Students to High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS) Using a Hands-On Approach ~ Naomi L. Stock

Innovative Physical Chemistry Investigations

How Is the Freezing Point of a Binary Mixture of Liquids Related to the Composition? A Guided Inquiry Experiment ~ Sally S. Hunnicutt, Alexander Grushow, and Rob Whitnell

Musical Example To Visualize Abstract Quantum Mechanical Ideas ~ Forrest W. Eagle, Kyser D. Seaney, and Michael P. Grubb

Determining the Speed of Sound and Heat Capacity Ratios of Gases by Acoustic Interferometry ~ Thomas D. Varberg, Bradley W. Pearlman, Ian A. Wyse, Samuel P. Gleason, Dalir H. P. Kellett, and Kenneth L. Moffett

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations

ConfChem online conferences are free, open to the public, and run by the ACS DivCHED Committee on Computers in Chemical Education (CCCE). The fall 2016 ConfChem conference discussed selected 2016 BCCE (Biennial Conference in Chemical Education) presentations.

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Introduction ~ Jennifer L. Muzyka, Tanya Gupta, and Robert Belford

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Radical Awakenings—A New Teaching Paradigm Using Social Media ~ Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Specifications Grading in the Flipped Organic Classroom ~ Joshua Ring

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Changing Roles for Changing Times—Social Media and the Evolution of the Supplemental Instructor ~ Emily Alden

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Tracking Student Use of Web-Based Resources for Chemical Education ~ Robert Bodily and Steven Wood

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Putting Your Own Personal Twist on a Flipped Organic Classroom and Selling the Idea to Students ~ Ashleigh L.P. Thomas

ConfChem Conference on Select 2016 BCCE Presentations: Twentieth Year of the OLCC ~ Robert E. Belford

From the Archives: Music and Chemistry

This issue contains a laboratory using a Musical Example To Visualize Abstract Quantum Mechanical Ideas  by Forrest W. Eagle, Kyser D. Seaney, and Michael P. Grubb. Music and chemistry have been coupled in past issues of JCE in such articles as:

Guitar Strings as Standing Waves: A Demonstration ~ Michael Davis, Todd P. Silverstein, and Dean J. Campbell

Musical Chemistry: Integrating Chemistry and Music ~ Mahadev Kumbar

Music Generated by a Zn/Cu Electrochemical Cell, a Lemon Cell, and a Solar Cell: A Demonstration for General Chemistry ~ Susan G. Cady

Sonified Infrared Spectra and Their Interpretation by Blind and Visually Impaired Students ~ Florbela Pereira, João C. Ponte-e-Sousa, Rui P. S. Fartaria, Vasco D. B. Bonifácio, Paulina Mata, Joao Aires-de-Sousa, and Ana M. Lobo

Chemistry and Song: A Novel Way To Educate and Entertain ~ Cory C. Pye

Combining Chemistry and Music To Engage Students’ Interest. Using Songs To Accompany Selected Chemical Topics ~ Arthur M. Last

Amino Acid Jazz: Amplifying Biochemistry Concepts with Content-Rich Music ~ Gregory J. Crowther and Katie Davis

Viewing Scenes of the History of Chemistry through the Opera Glass ~ João Paulo André

Opera and Poison: A Secret and Enjoyable Approach To Teaching and Learning Chemistry ~ João Paulo André

Facing the Music: How Original Was Borodin's Chemistry? ~ Michael D. Gordin

Emil Votocek (1872-1950): A Tribute to the Chemist-Composer-Lexicographer ~ Frantisek Jurik, Ian D. Rae, and George B. Kauffman

Lejaren A. Hiller, Jr.: A Memorial Tribute to a Chemist-Composer ~ Christian A. Wamser and Carl C. Wamser

JCE: Improving Student Performance for 94 Years

With over 94 years of content from the Journal of Chemical Education available, many concepts in chemistry have been discussed extensively—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.