general public

Microplastics, Liquid Nitrogen, and Iodine: Polystyrene vs. Starch Foam Packing Peanuts

The differing electrostatic and solubility properties of starch and polystyrene foam packing peanuts are used in various demonstrations to describe aspects of microplastics and their interactions with the environment. Their differing responses to exposure to liquid nitrogen and iodine solutions are also described.

Liminal Transitions

Being a teacher during the pandemic was a transformative experience. But it's unlikely no one came out of the pandemic unscathed in some way. The scars are real and learning to accept them is part of the process in returning to "normal", which was an illusion and did not work well for many. Post-pandemic, how will my teaching change?

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.

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.

Kasi: A Multi-Sensory Modeling System

Doug Ragan has been working with the Alchemie team -- founded by a former chemistry teacher, Julia Winter -- for a number of years. They have been working over the last year on a new project, named Kasi, which delivers sound-based feedback to students as they learn with tactile pieces on a magnetic whiteboard. The goal is to build an accessible learning system that helps ALL students learn, and is particularly important for those with visual impairments.