Public Understanding

JCE 95.04 April 2018 Issue Highlights

Placing Chemistry into a World Context

The April 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: service-learning, safety, investigating student understanding of solutions, environmental chemistry, green chemistry, waste management, acid-base chemistry, natural products, materials science, activities and laboratory investigations, teaching resources, diving into the archives: marine chemistry.

JCE 95.02 February 2018 Issue Highlights

Curricular Alignment for Student Success 

The February 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: diversity within the classroom; assessment and curricular alignment; innovations in laboratory curriculum; electrochemistry; analytical chemistry labs; exploring materials science; engaging teaching approaches; historical perspectives; distilling the archives: lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic devices.

JCE 95.01 January 2018 Issue Highlights

Celebrating Ninety-Five Years

The January 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: exploring magnetic properties; examining outreach practices; spectroscopy; understanding chemical changes over time; laboratory curriculum reform; teaching scientific communication; analytical chemistry activities; biochemistry laboratories; 3D printing molecular models; from the archives: chemistry outreach.

Book Suggestion: The Alchemy of Air

One of my goals for 2017 was to read more chemistry non-fiction. I accomplished that with three and a half books read. That doesn't seem like much, but given how busy I've been lately it was quite an accomplishment! I offer a brief review of my most recent book here, "The Alchemy of Air" by Thomas Hager.

Scrub Daddy Science

The science behind the incredibly popular Scrub Daddy sponge is investigated. Part of the appeal of the Scrub Daddy sponge is that it changes from soft to hard depending upon temperature. This allows a single sponge to be transformed into a hard scrubber or soft sponge, depending upon the temperature of water into which it is placed.

DIY Vapor Catalyzed Chemiluminescence

I recently watched a video in which a chemist (who goes by the nickname “NurdRage”) activated a chemiluminescent reaction by vapor deposition. I wanted to try it out for myself! Unfortunately, oxalyl chloride is toxic, corrosive, and a lachrymator. Thus, the experiment conducted by NurdRage needs to be conducted in a hood, and it is not particularly amenable to simple presentations. I began to wonder how I could create this vapor activated chemiluminescence using simple materials.