March 2021 Xchange

The March 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. 


Polypropylene and the Cold Snap 

Cold weather brings about the opportunity to demonstrate glass transition temperatures of polypropylene containers.


High School Teachers: Apply to Participate in a VisChem Institute

Check out this all-expenses paid, remotely delivered, summer 2021 professional development institute for high school chemistry teachers. Apply before March 31, 2021!


ChemEd X Talks 

Check out our schedule of upcoming ChemEd X Talks and gain access to recordings of our previous Talks. 


Float or Sink? An at-home lab on density

Observing the floating and sinking behavior of diet and sugared sodas is a classic chemistry demonstration. Learn how to perform this experiment as a quantitative lab that can be accomplished as an at-home activity!



Supercharge Your Classroom with GIFs 

Are you having a hard time describing 3-D drawings or showing motion of particles in your digital assignments? GIFs can help!


Program Evaluation Part 3 – My Favorite Evaluation Theories

Evaluations are part of our everyday lives. This multi-part blog series aims to expand our collective understanding of evaluation. Part 3 focuses on reflections and critiques of some prominent evaluation theories.


Hot Topic for Early Spring: Thermogenesis of Eastern Skunk Cabbage

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.


Why Take Chemistry for Mortuary Science? Part 1

Mortuary Science and Chemistry for Funeral Service or similar type courses are often part of the associates degree curriculums of community colleges. This post is written primarily for faculty who may advise students in this career path. This post will discuss a few reasons why taking chemistry is important for students pursuing a career in mortuary science.


Teach Them to Study (because they don't know how)

Self-quizzing is an effective study strategy that leads to longer-term memory retention than other methods. However, when I surveyed my student's preferred study method, self-quizzing did not make the list. In this post, Josh Kenney describes self-quizzing and how to support and encourage students to use it.


Learning to Walk Before Running a Marathon

What would be a useful infrastructure to help modernize undergraduate labs and perhaps give students more experience/skills - especially those serving student populations with low socio-economic status? This blog offers a practical solution. 


Service Dogs in the Chemistry Lab

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. 



Ways to Highlight Female Chemists for Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month and talking about female chemists' work during class is a great way to celebrate the month. Here, the author discusses three ways to highlight female chemists in a chemistry class.


Densities of Red Bull Beverages: How Much Table Sugar and Artificial Sweetener Are Present?

Per the label, 39 grams of table sugar (sucrose) are in a 12fl.oz. can of a Red Bull beverage. Visually, how much is 39 grams of anything? 


JCE 98.03 March 2021 Issue Highlights

The March 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: lunar exploration and the chemistry classroom; teaching and learning remotely; experiments with color and natural products; materials science; introductory computational chemistry; guided inquiry activities; demonstrations and apparatus; teaching organic chemistry; biochemistry; chemical education research: introductory chemistry; from the archives: choose your own adventure and chemical escape rooms.


Resources for Teaching Chemistry Online

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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