The April 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: environmental chemistry; curriculum innovation; redesigning courses; representation in chemistry textbooks; public understanding of chemistry; teaching with models; visual and aural demonstrations; teaching chemistry with inks and pigments; examining the chemistry of beer; synthesis in the laboratory; improving student understanding of analysis; instrumentation; chemistry education research; from the archives: resources for celebrating Earth Week 2021.
The blossoms of eastern skunk cabbage produce heat for a couple of weeks in early spring. This heat, which can be detected using an infrared camera, results from oxidation of carbohydrates. The mechanisms behind this process can be used to introduce energy transduction during classroom discussions of thermochemistry.
Service animals will continue to become more common in chemical laboratories. It is important that chemistry faculty and departments are prepared to safely accomodate students with service dogs in laboratory courses.
Teaching about hypervalent structures is problematic. This post discusses a simple and quick way in determining the number of lone pairs on a hypervalent central p-block atom.
The December 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching during COVID-19; examining models used by students; chemical structure; game-based learning; interdisciplinary courses; teaching chemistry using plants; laboratory instruction with real-world context; fluorescence; exploring spectroscopy; thermodynamics; chemical education research; from the archives: photography.
Learning How to Do Chemistry
The June 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: innovative curriculum; exploring kinetics; engaging organic chemistry activities; molecular structure and symmetry; polymer chemistry; technology-based instruction; synthesis laboratories; undergraduate research experiences; from the archives: bath bombs and cosmetics chemistry.
The Ruben's Tube (also known as a Flame Tube) is a classic experiment used in physics classes. There's also a bit of chemistry to be learned while experimenting with a Ruben's Tube...
Chemistry Education in Times of Disruption
The May 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online 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.
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.
Developing Students’ Scientific Reasoning - The March 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: nanochemistry; innovative curriculum; teaching with games; teaching with food chemistry and natural products; infrared applications; analysis using color, images, and visualization; environmental chemistry; computer-aided organic chemistry; synthesis laboratories; physical chemistry; graduate school climate assessment; chemical education research: introductory chemistry and student success.