JCE 98.03 March 2021 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education March 2021 Cover

Journal of Chemical Education March 2021 Issue

The March 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: lunar exploration and the chemistry classroom; teaching and learning remotely; experiments with color and natural products; materials science; introductory computational chemistry; guided inquiry activities; demonstrations and apparatus; teaching organic chemistry; biochemistry; chemical education research: introductory chemistry; from the archives: choose your own adventure and chemical escape rooms.

Cover: Lunar Exploration and the Chemistry Classroom

With resurgent lunar exploration and expansion of the commercial space sector, serious scholarship, planning, and resources have focused on extracting and using lunar materials to sustain activity in space. In Lunar Resource Harvesting and Manufacturing: Rich Content for the Chemistry Classroom, Joshua D. Kittle, Michael W. Duff, and John M. Engesser use this engaging, interdisciplinary, space-oriented topic to excite and inspire chemistry students, while reinforcing general chemistry concepts. (Image of moon courtesy of NASA. Image from NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper showing water detected at high latitudes courtesy of ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS.)

Other space-related content in this issue includes:

Low-Cost, Balle-Flygare-Type Cavity Fourier Transform Microwave Spectrometer and Pure Rotational Spectroscopy Laboratory for Teaching Physical Chemistry and Astronomy ~ Amanda Duerden, Nicole Moon, and G. S. Grubbs


In the editorial What Is Laying the Groundwork Today for the Next Big Education Revolution?, Tom Holme considers what basic research efforts of today are laying the groundwork for major advances in teaching and learning in the next 20 years and speculates about the Human Connectome Project and its mapping of brain structures and functions. (Available open access without a subscription.)

Teaching and Learning Remotely

The Chemical Kitchen: Toward Remote Delivery of an Interdisciplinary Practical Course ~ Jakub L. Radzikowski, Luke C. Delmas, Alan C. Spivey, Jozef Youssef, and Roger Kneebone (ACS AuthorChoice: available open access without a subscription)

Overcoming the Challenges of Remote Instruction: Using Mobile Technology to Promote Active Learning ~ Brandi L. Baldock, Anthony L. Fernandez, Jimmy Franco, Brian A. Provencher, and Mark R. McCoy

From Passive Observers to Active Participants: Using Interactive Remote Demonstrations to Increase Student Involvement in Online Chemistry Instruction ~ Daniel R. Zuidema and Robert H. Zuidema

Synchronous Online-Delivery: A Novel Approach to Online Lab Instruction ~ Elizabeth V. Jones, Carrie G. Shepler, and Michael J. Evans

Analysis of Amylase in the Kitchen: An At-Home Biochemistry Experiment for the COVID-19 Pandemic ~ Sehrish Maqsood, Samuel M. Kilpatrick, Chloe D. Truong, and Scott R. Lefler

Benefits and Challenges of a Virtual Laboratory in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering: Students’ Experiences in Fermentation ~ Simoneta Caño de las Heras, Barbara Kensington-Miller, Brent Young, Vicente Gonzalez, Ulrich Krühne, Seyed Soheil Mansouri, and Saeid Baroutian

Augmented Titration Setup for Future Teaching Laboratories ~ Fan Yang, Veronica Lai, Kea Legard, Stephanie Kozdras, Paloma L. Prieto, Shad Grunert, and Jason E. Hein

At-Home Real-Life Sample Preparation and Colorimetric-Based Analysis: A Practical Experience outside the Laboratory ~ Samer Doughan and Anna Shahmuradyan

Titrate over the Internet: An Open-Source Remote-Control Titration Unit for All Students ~ Ronald Soong, Amy Jenne, Daniel H. Lysak, Rajshree Ghosh Biswas, Antonio Adamo, Kris S. Kim, and Andre Simpson

For additional ideas related to teaching during COVID, see the September 2020 issue, a special issue devoted to “Insights Gained While Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19”.

Experiments with Color and Natural Products

Separation of Food Colorings via Liquid–Liquid Extraction: An At-Home Organic Chemistry Lab ~ Brandon J. Orzolek and Marisa C. Kozlowski

Turmeric and RGB Analysis: A Low-Cost Experiment for Teaching Acid–Base Equilibria at Home ~ Rolando M. Caraballo, Leila M. Saleh Medina, Sergio G. J. Gomez, Priscila Vensaus, and Mariana Hamer

Identification of Synthetic Organic Pigments in Contemporary Artists’ Paints by FT-IR and FT-Raman: An Advanced Analytical Experiment ~ Margherita Longoni and Silvia Bruni

Identification of Tree Species by Their Defense Compounds: A Study with Leaf Buds of White and Silver Birches ~ Marianna Manninen, Veli-Matti Vesterinen, Anna-Kaisa Vainio, Heidi Korhonen, Maarit Karonen, and Juha-Pekka Salminen (ACS AuthorChoice: available open access without a subscription)

Materials Science

Cu Plating with Sn and Subsequent Bronze Formation under Mild Conditions ~ Takahiro Suzuki and Masayuki Inoue. (This experiment is explored further at ChemEdX by Tom Kuntzleman in Plating Pennies with Tin.)

Design of a Guided Inquiry Classroom Activity to Investigate Effects of Chemistry on Physical Properties of Elastomers ~ Alexander H. Greer, William Vauclain, Elijah Lee, Aidan Lowe, Jared Hoefner, Nikhil Chakraborty, Michael Fairorth, Neetish Sharma, Thomas Russell, Robert Esgro, Lisa Snyder, and Holly M. Golecki

Categorization of Quantum Dots, Clusters, Nanoclusters, and Nanodots ~ Hyung Jun Park, Dong Jun Shin, and Junhua Yu (open access without a subscription)

Upper-Year Materials Chemistry Computational Modeling Module for Organic Display Technologies ~ Gabrielle C. Hoover, Andrew P. Dicks, and Dwight S. Seferos

Motivating and Supporting Undergraduate Research through Green Chemistry: Experiences at a Small Liberal Arts University ~ Jared VanderZwaag, Hechao Du, and Liza Abraham

Introductory Computational Chemistry

Introducing High School Students to the Avogadro Number and the Mole Concept Using Discovery with Calculations Based on Physical Properties of Elements, Crystal Structures, and 28Si Spheres ~ Thomas H. Bindel

Connecting Chemistry to Mathematics by Establishing the Relationship between Conductivity and Concentration in an Interdisciplinary, Computer-Based Project for High School Chemistry Students ~ Hao Shang

Guided Inquiry Activities

Using Pop-Culture to Engage Students in the Classroom ~ Nicolas Dietrich, Mélanie Jimenez, Manuel Souto, Aaron W. Harrison, Christophe Coudret, and Eric Olmos

Chemical Battleship: Discovering and Learning the Periodic Table Playing a Didactic and Strategic Board Game ~ Jose M. Montejo Bernardo and Alfonso Fernández González

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Style Virtual Lab Activity ~ Lauren A. Warning and Krista Kobylianskii

Guided Inquiry Activity for Teaching Titration Through Total Titratable Acidity in a General Chemistry Laboratory Course ~ John C. Goeltz and Lia A. Cuevas

Work-Integrated Learning: A Game-Based Learning Activity That Enhances Student Employability ~ Fiona Ponikwer and Bhavik Anil Patel (ACS Editors’ Choice: available open access without a subscription for a limited period)

Thinking-Based Learning at Higher Education Levels: Implementation and Outcomes within a Chemical Engineering Class ~ José S. Torrecilla, Belén Gutiérrez-de-Rozas, and John C. Cancilla

Demonstrations and Apparatus

Demonstration of the Influence of Specific Surface Area on Reaction Rate in Heterogeneous Catalysis ~ Paweł Bernard, Paweł Stelmachowski, Paweł Broś, Wacław Makowski, and Andrzej Kotarba (ACS AuthorChoice: available open access without a subscription)

Hydrolysis of 2-Chloro-2-methylpropane—Demonstration Using the Quenching of Fluorescence from Fluorescein ~ Masatada Matsuoka and Takashiro Akitsu

Optimized and Refined Apparatus for Measuring Surface Tension with the Bubble-Pressure Method ~ Yunshan Bai, Guoling Li, Lei Li, Kewang Wang, Shirong Li, and Huanhuan Liu

Teaching Organic Chemistry 

In the Laboratory

Integrating iSpartan into a Classic Organic Chemistry Laboratory Experiment ~ Shanina Sanders Johnson, Leyte Winfield, and Shannon H. Sung

Synthesis of 1-Phenylthiourea: An Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Experiment Illustrating Carbonyl Transformations ~ Itamar Luís Gonçalves, Leonardo Davi, Fernando Cidade Torres, Rômulo Faria Santos Canto, and Vera Lucia Eifler-Lima

Drug Synthesis and Analysis of an Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor: A Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry Experience for Undergraduates ~ Jie Yang, Yi Yuan, Jing Gu, Ao Li, Zhao Wei, and Qin Ouyang

Buchwald–Hartwig Amination, High-Throughput Experimentation, and Process Chemistry: An Introduction via Undergraduate Laboratory Experimentation ~ Bailee Wathen, Emily Lanehart, Lena A. Woodis, and Anthony J. Rojas

In the Classroom

MILAGE LEARN+: A Mobile Learning App to Aid the Students in the Study of Organic Chemistry ~ Custódia S. C. Fonseca, Marielba Zacarias, and Mauro Figueiredo

Using 3D Printing to Visualize 2D Chromatograms and NMR Spectra for the Classroom ~ Oliver A. H. Jones, Paul G. Stevenson, Simone C. Hameka, Dale A. Osborne, Patrick D. Taylor, and Michelle J. S. Spencer

Explanation of Substituent Effects on the Enolization of β-Diketones and β-Ketoesters ~ Isolde Sandler, Jason B. Harper, and Junming Ho

School-Related Content Knowledge in Organic Chemistry—How Does the Students’ Rating of Their Perceived Relevance of Tasks Differ between Bachelor and Master Studies? ~ Jolanda Hermanns and David Keller


Reporting Biochemistry to the General Public through a Science Communication Writing Assignment ~ Nicholas F. Garza, Solaire A. Finkenstaedt-Quinn, Catherine A. Wilhelm, Kristin S. Koutmou, and Ginger V. Shultz

Protein Identification by Database Searching of Mass Spectrometry Data in the Teaching of Proteomics ~ Vinícius Marquioni, Francis Morais Franco Nunes, and Maria Teresa Marques Novo-Mansur

Analysis of Protonation Equilibria of Amino Acids in Aqueous Solutions Using Microsoft Excel ~ Bojan Šarac and San Hadži (ACS AuthorChoice: available open access without a subscription)

Enzyme Free Energy Diagrams: Enzyme–Substrate Binding Is Always Spontaneous ~ Todd P. Silverstein

Chemical Education Research: Introductory Chemistry

From Ideas to Items: A Primer on the Development of Ordered Multiple-Choice Items for Investigating the Progression of Learning in Higher Education STEM ~ Katherine Lazenby, Morgan E. Balabanoff, Nicole M. Becker, Alena Moon, and Jack Barbera

Use of Simulations and Screencasts to Increase Student Understanding of Energy Concepts in Bonding ~ Jessica R. VandenPlas, Deborah G. Herrington, Alec D. Shrode, and Ryan D. Sweeder

Let Students Choose: Examining the Impact of Open Educational Resources on Performance in General Chemistry ~ Rebecca L. Sansom, Virginia Clinton-Lisell, and Lane Fischer 

Effectiveness of Inquiry Based Laboratory Instruction on Developing Secondary Students’ Views on Scientific Inquiry ~ Pinar Seda Cetin

From the Archives: Choose Your Own Adventure and Chemical Escape Rooms

In the March issue, Lauren A. Warning and Krista Kobylianskii describe A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Style Virtual Lab Activity to provide an online alternative for a laboratory activity. A choose-your-own-adventure activity as well as chemical escape rooms have been discussed in past articles including: 

Choose Your Own “Labventure”: A Click-Through Story Approach to Online Laboratories during a Global Pandemic ~ John G. D’Angelo

Escape the (Remote) Classroom: An Online Escape Room for Remote Learning ~ Matthew J. Vergne, J. Dominic Smith, and Ryan S. Bowen

Physical and Digital Educational Escape Room for Teaching Chemical Bonding ~ Jayden Wei Jie Ang, Yin Ni Annie Ng, and Rou Shen Liew

A Lab-Based Chemical Escape Room: Educational, Mobile, and Fun! ~ Ran Peleg, Malka Yayon, Dvora Katchevich, Mor Moria-Shipony, and Ron Blonder

Escape the Lab: An Interactive Escape-Room Game as a Laboratory Experiment ~ Matthew J. Vergne, Joshua D. Simmons, and Ryan S. Bowen

Escaping Boredom in First Semester General Chemistry ~ David Watermeier and Bridget Salzameda

Do-It-Yourself: Creating and Implementing a Periodic Table of the Elements Chemical Escape Room ~ Malka Yayon, Shelley Rap, Vered Adler, Inbar Haimovich, Hagit Levy, and Ron Blonder

Escape Classroom: The Leblanc Process—An Educational “Escape Game” ~ Nicolas Dietrich

Using Augmented Reality to Stimulate Students and Diffuse Escape Game Activities to Larger Audiences ~ Anabela Estudante and Nicolas Dietrich

ChemEscape, Polymer Chemistry: Solving Interactive Puzzles Featuring Scaffolded Learning to Promote Student Understanding of Polymers and Structure–Property Relationships ~ Brian C. T. Gilbert, Marissa L. Clapson, and Amanda Musgrove

Escape ClassRoom: Can You Solve a Crime Using the Analytical Process? ~ Marta Ferreiro-González, Antonio Amores-Arrocha, Estrella Espada-Bellido, María José Aliaño-Gonzalez, Mercedes Vázquez-Espinosa, Ana V. González-de-Peredo, Pau Sancho-Galán, José Ángel Álvarez-Saura, Gerardo F. Barbero, and Cristina Cejudo-Bastante

Erica Jacobsen discussed bringing the popular genre of “escape rooms” into the chemistry classroom on ChemEdX in Especially JCE: May 2019.

Readers and Authors of JCE Are Out of this World

Even in these times of disruption, there are always ideas for teaching and learning chemistry available in the Journal of Chemical Education—including the March 2021 issue described above. Articles that are edited and published online ahead of print (ASAP—As Soon As Publishable) are also available. (For more information on how to access the  articles cited above, see Deanna Cullen’s post on Accessing Cited Articles.)

Do you have something to share? Write it up for the Journal! In particular, consider submitting to the special issue of JCE on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect in Chemistry Education Research and Practice (deadline is April 12, 2021). Additional information about this special issue is available in this issue

Erica Jacobsen’s Commentary (available without a subscription) continues to provide excellent advice about becoming an author. In addition, numerous author resources are available on JCE’s ACS website, including the revised Author Guidelines and Document Templates. The ACS Publishing Center also has resources for preparing and reviewing manuscripts for ACS journals.