continuing education

JCE 97.05 May 2020 Issue Highlights

Chemistry Education in Times of Disruption 

The of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: understanding structures; digital information and web-based learning; exploring everyday chemistry; curriculum innovations; games for teaching; NMR spectroscopy; examining properties of organic liquids; biochemistry laboratories; analytical and physical chemistry laboratories; computational chemistry; innovative low-cost instruments; research on knowledge and skills for teachers and chemists; from the archives: hands-on chemistry at home.

Chemical Illustrations of Flattening the Curve

With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion of “flattening the curve” by social distancing. These ideas can be demonstrated chemically, for example, by the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to produce an oxygen gas foam. Decreased hydrogen peroxide concentrations, representing decreased human population concentrations from social distancing, produce oxygen gas foam, representing cases of illness, at a slower rate. A similar demonstration can be achieved using the popular Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations.

Teacher Leadership

Have you heard that TERC, a nonprofit, has launched a STEM Teacher Leadership Network funded by the National Science Foundation? The online community is for  aspiring or current teacher leaders, researchers and administration to improve STEM education, effect policy and discuss the changes to the future of STEM education in a collaborative online collegial network.

Women Untold: Lawrence Tech Student-Produced Film Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion in STEM

Lawrence Technological University’s Marburger STEM Center recently collaborated with students enrolled in the Media Communications Program to develop a new 30-min student film, Women Untold, which celebrates the important contributions of three women of color in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Detection of Nickel Cations in Coins

It is not known why people develop allergies to nickel and there is no cure. The best course of action to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid contact with products containing nickel. This article will explain how to make an easy and cheap nickel detection device that will limit or eliminate the risks of exposure to sources of nickel using some interesting classic chemistry. 

Special Knowledge That Only Teachers Have

Developing PCK requires a certain level of subject matter knowledge, and teachers have a different understanding of subject matter than a person who specializes in that same field. A chemistry teacher and a ‘practicing’ chemist both have subject matter knowledge in chemistry; however, the knowledge is applied differently.

Element of the Month - An Introduction

A familiarity with the chemistry of some of the elements more commonly encountered in everyday life is a valuable learning experience for all students, regardless of whether they pursue further studies or careers in the sciences. Follow this series of articles to find out how the Element of the Month Project began and how the elements are presented. #IYPT

Largest Periodic Table - World Record Attempt

The American Chemical Society Western Michigan Section is planning a special International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) celebration to be held at Grand Valley State University in Michigan on October 19th. The highlight of the celebration will be the unveiling of the largest periodic table in hopes of setting a Guinness World Record. Schools and groups are invited to help with the IYPT project by making one of the 118 elements.

Immobilization of Lactase Enzyme on Alginate Beads - A Quick Test

I came across an interesting Journal of Chemical Education article that explains how it is possible to crosslink sodium alginate, leading to the formation of calcium alginate beads. Calcium alginate beads are hydrogels and one of their uses is to immobilize enzymes in their structure. I thought it would be cool to immobilize some lactase enzyme onto calcium alginate beads and investigate its ability to hydrolyze lactose.