February 2021 Xchange

The February 2021 Xchange highlights some of the contributions that have been published on ChemEd X over the past month. We hope you will take a moment to check in and see what you may have missed. 


These 30 minute Zoom meetings consist of a short presentation (10 - 15 minutes) followed by Q&A and discussion. Teachers are asked to participate in the discussion by offering their own ideas and experience with the topic. These live events are free, but registration is required. Did you miss a meeting? We have published recordings of our first four Talks along with resources offered by the presenters. 


Learn how to give pennies a beautiful, silvery-colored plating. Tom walks through the process in a video. 


Evaluations are part of everyday life. This multi-part blog series aims to expand upon the evaluation process. Part 2 focuses on what evaluation is and how it differs from research. 


The authors revisit "flattening the curve" demonstrations published during 2020 to see how they could represent the impact of vaccinations on the COVID 19 battlefront. These demonstrations do not demonstrate the mechanisms of vaccines themselves, but are rather analogies to their potential effect on a population. In these analogies, gas production still represents illness, but this time people are represented by objects added to the solutions which either enable gas production (unvaccinated individuals) or do not enable gas production (vaccinated individuals). These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations, and links to videos are included in this writeup.



Have you seen the rainbow candy experiment? It's a very simple experiment that involves pouring water into a plate that has M&M's candies or Skittles arranged in a pattern. Very curious shapes of sharply divided regions form spontaneously. How does this happen?! 


Students were asked to watch a short video that describes the ways scientific information is communicated, how those pathways usually function and how they were altered by the pandemic. Students were then asked to discuss a series of questions about experts, peer review, and the issue of releasing research results prior to peer review because of the urgent need for useful information related to the pandemic. 


The ability to provide meaningful feedback has been one of the most difficult aspects of hybrid and distance learning. Using the Chrome extension, Mote, allows teachers to attach an audio recording of their feedback to student work. 


This creative activity will help engage your students in chemistry nomenclature.


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.


Think back to when most college students across the country were on campus working together on group projects and studying together in the library. So how can this be recreated now that online instruction is the current operational mode? One solution may be Study Hall over Zoom.


Interested in embedding interactive lecture and/or lab videos? PlayPosit provides a medium to do so. This post gives directions on how to get started.


The February 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: classic demonstrations, teaching during COVID-19, encouraging future scientists, games for teaching organic chemistry, student understanding of bonding, project-based learning, safety, computer-aided instruction, scientific literature, curriculum innovations, examining assessment, material science, research experiences, laboratory experiments, from the archives: teaching with household materials.



Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic ChemEd X began compiling a list of both new and previously published ChemEd X posts and resources that might be useful to teachers while teaching remotely. This list continues to grow. Readers are encouraged to check in often to find new content and to comment with additional resources that we can add to our list.


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