A few years ago, the faculty in our department at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania decided to switch to an atoms first approach to the General Chemistry course. We took advantage of this change to systematically redesign the first semester of the laboratory curriculum to be a true “laboratory course” that focuses on laboratory practices, techniques, and equipment rather than on chemical theory.
Read Dr. Nakita Noel’s career profile describing her background and her current position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Princeton Research Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials.
I think that most people can recall someone whom we considered to be a great teacher. The kind of person who inspired us and motivated us to learn. As I started my career, I remember wondering what kind of teacher my students thought I was.
Ninety-Six Years New
The January 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: chemical biology, innovative curriculum for the classroom and laboratory, promoting effective teaching methods in organic chemistry, improving student conceptual models, cost-effective and low-waste equipment and experiments, using instructional videos to teach, exploring materials science, instrumental analytical experiments, organic chemistry laboratories, research on success in chemistry, from the archives: anodizing.
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.
Some research indicates that it is not always beneficial for students to work entirely on their own as they conduct inquiry-based investigations. This article explores a method of inquiry learning in which teachers and students work together to envision, conduct, and analyze experiments.
ChemEd X has invited professionals working in chemistry related fields to write about their background, experience and advice they have for those interested in a similar career path. Chemistry instructors can use these as a resource to help students glimpse the variety of chemistry related fields open to them.
Read Jason Kong’s career profile describing his background and his current position as a chemical laboratory supervisor for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
In an effort to align an old VSEPR lesson to NGSS, I told my students that we were going to look at the data available from the real molecules on the pHET simulation we were using and specifically look for patterns. Finding patterns is a cross-cutting concept; one of the three dimensions of NGSS.
Promoting Engagement in Critical Thinking
The December 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: wetting modification by photocatalysis, innovative approaches to promote student engagement, connecting concepts with real-world applications, examining outreach and peer-led team learning, exploring polymer chemistry, understanding kinetics, computer-based learning tools, cost-effective equipment, exploring the archives: carbohydrates.