first-year undergraduate

Surveying Litter as a Citizen Science Chemistry Activity

During the last few semesters, a small survey has been deployed at Bradley University where students were to describe and classify items of litter that they found. The purposes of the surveys were to get students thinking about some of the chemical implications of solid waste and give the students some experience with a citizen science project. The most recent iteration of the survey, and some of its results, are described.

Lesson to determine the relationships between acid strength, Ka, pH, Molarity, and percent ionization

After teaching the concepts and calculations for acid and base strength, concentration, percent ionization, and pH I noticed many of my students were struggling to make meaningful connections between these calculations.This lesson was created to strengthen the understanding of the relationships between these concepts and skills.

JCE 98.05 May 2021 Issue Highlights

The May 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching biochemistry, assessment, learning to think like a scientist, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, surface chemistry, solution mixing, organic chemistry laboratory experiments and activities, computer-based experiences, research on promoting student success, from the archives: systems thinking.

A Manipulative Paper Tool for Teaching Simple Organic Nomenclature: Part 2, IUPAC Naming of Major Classes of Organic Compounds

To help introduce students to organic nomenclature in a way that clearly summarizes the patterns that exist in the IUPAC system, a series of paper tools were developed. The paper tool in this activity can be used to introduce the IUPAC naming of major classes of organic compounds. These paper tools are easy to print and distribute to every student each semester.

What do you want to know about your students' chemical thinking? Categorizing chemistry formative assessments

In order to teach chemistry effectively, we must ascertain what our students are thinking about chemistry and make a decision regarding what to do with what we learn. Formative assessment questions provide a useful lens into students' minds regarding what they are thinking about chemistry. Let us consider then, how categorizing formative assessment questions could help us plan out our classes more deliberately, in order to better design purposeful written formative assessments that align with our curricular goals. 

Skype with a Scientist Live

This year so many in-person events at school have not been able to happen due to COVID restrictions. One activity that the author's science honor society students have enjoyed greatly is the Skype with a Scientist Live sessions. Students register in advance and then have the opportunity to be face to face with a scientist.