Laboratory Assessments and Resources

Aqueous red cabbage extracts: More than just a pH indicator

The use of anthocyanins in red cabbage extracts as pH indicators has long been a popular classroom activity. Flowers, fruits and vegetables contain a diverse range of anthocyanins. This investigation explores further applications of plant-derived dyes including reversible reactions based on oxidation/reduction chemistry and other reactions to illustrate colour changes that are not solely dependent on pH change. By using household materials and plant dyes, this investigation may potentially be completed at home if necessary.

Filling the Void: Options for Authentic Investigations Online

With the school year quickly approaching, science teachers will at some point need to decide the role of laboratory investigation within their new learning environment. To help this decision-making process, the author focuses on two available options that he believes have the greatest potential for offering a legitimate approach toward authentic investigations in a digital environment.

Limiting Reagents and Gases

This unique microscale gas collection technique provides students with reasonably good data in a short period of time. Students have more time to analyze the data and communicate their findings. 

Seeing Chemistry in a Different Light—FLIR Thermal Cameras in the Classroom

Before trying to use a piece of equipment, it’s worthwhile to have a basic understanding of how it works. To put it simply, FLIR cameras primarily deal with the infrared part of the EMR spectrum. The camera detects infrared energy and converts it into an electrical signal, which is then processed to produce a thermal image on a video monitor. 

Video-Enhanced Automatically-Graded Web-Based Pre-Lab Tutorials

In our freshman Chemistry laboratory course at Nicholls State University, tutorials (with embedded quizzes) are used as pre-lab assignments. The text and graphical information provide a sufficient basis to answer all the questions, but YouTube videos are embedded for students who may need additional help. The tutorials could be easily adapted for flipped instruction in high school and college lecture courses.

Mole Unit Mini-Practicums

We all know how fundamental the mole concept is for stoichiometry. This year I brainstormed ways to really make it stick. I decided to do multiple mini-practicums, one for each learning target of the mole unit. I am sharing brief descriptions of the mini-practicums I did for each learning target.

Capping Off a Unique Redesign of the Laboratory Curriculum

A few years ago, the faculty in our department at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania decided to switch to an atoms first approach to the General Chemistry course. We took advantage of this change to systematically redesign the first semester of the laboratory curriculum to be a true “laboratory course” that focuses on laboratory practices, techniques, and equipment rather than on chemical theory.