Dean Campbell uses demonstrations and props to illustrate concepts while teaching his collegiate Materials Chemistry course. Many of the examples described are also suitable for use in high school and collegiate General Chemistry courses.
What is some of the chemistry involved in the formation of ice clouds when boiling water is thrown into icy air?
Discover the secrets behind flame-shaped highlighter markings that not only disappear and reappear but also glow and flicker under the influence of acids, bases, and UV lights.
Tissue paper can be folded and cut with chemistry-related patterns to make decorative paper banners that can be used as Mexican-themed decorations. Chemistry concept connections include lattice energy, bandgap energy, and ionic crystal fracture.
Regularly dimpled trays such as those used in food packaging can be used to represent layers of atoms in solid structures. For example, the square array of dimples in transparent plastic mini quiche trays can be used to depict layers within cubic or tetragonal unit cells. Multiple solid structures and ways to represent those structures are described.
The floating soap bubble is an impressive experiment that is surprisingly easy to carry out.
The color of a thermochromic system depends on its temperature. The colors of leuco dye-based systems can also be influenced by adding acids or bases to the thermochromic reactions. These can be used to create colorful demonstrations of acid-base chemistry. Thermochromism found in color changing cups can also be used to visualize heat flow, and therefore thermodynamic principles, associated with stretching and contracting elastomers.
Ordinary playing cards can be used in games where the cards model valence electrons in atoms. These games could provide players with a fun and active way to practice counting valence electrons in simple chemical structures.
With a little chemical investigation, you can figure out how Jet-Puffed's new color changing marshmallows work!
The shapes of plastic bottles can be used to represent orbitals. Using various connectors, a bit of packing tape, and a few other more specialized touches can produce large scale molecular models that feature orbitals, sigma bonds, and pi bonds.