first-year undergraduate

Boltzmann Bucks—Helping Students Conceptualize Entropy

If you are looking to go beyond using traditional, arguably misleading, definitions of entropy involving “disorder” and “messy bedroom” analogies, the Boltzmann Bucks game fits the bill. The game, pulled from a Journal of Chemical Education article, provides a wonderful opportunity for students to more accurately conceptualize entropy.

The Blue Butterfly Effect

The June, 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education contains an article that describes a simple, yet fascinating experiment that you and your students are going to love! It involves the use of butterfly wings from the genus Morpho. I obtained some of these wings and enjoyed experimenting with them. You will too!

Capping Off a Unique Redesign of the Laboratory Curriculum

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.

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. 

Synergistic Inquiry

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.

Faces of Chemistry - Career Profiles

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.