Blogs

ChemEd X contributors offer their ideas and opinions on a broad spectrum of topics pertaining to chemical education.

Blogs at ChemEd X reflect the opinions of the contributors and are open to comments. Only selected contributors blog at ChemEd X. If you would like to blog regularly at ChemEd X, please use our Contribution form to request an invitation to do so from one of our editors.

by Tom Kuntzleman
Sun, 11/28/2021 - 10:51

Natural food dyes are being sold online and in stores that can be used as acid-base indicators. These dyes open up a host of possibilities for at-home and in-class. For example, these food dyes can be used as indicators in the quantitative titration of the Mg(OH)2 in milk of magnesia.

Comments: 2
Recent activity: 12 hours 55 min ago
by Dean Campbell
Sun, 11/21/2021 - 10:55

Thin sheets of polystyrene can be patterned with permanent markers to represent repeating units of the polymer and then shrunk down in size using heat. The shrunken models of the repeating units can be connected with a string and then flipped into positions to demonstrate different types of polymer tacticity.

Recent activity: 1 week 5 days ago
by Thomas Shiland
Fri, 11/19/2021 - 18:01

A simple demonstration for high school chemistry students is described which gives a plausible connection between electrons as waves and the shapes of the s and p orbitals. This demonstration may build a transition from electrons as particles to electrons as waves.

Recent activity: 1 week 5 days ago
by Chad Husting
Sun, 11/07/2021 - 18:53

Here is a quick and easy yet powerful experiment for para and diamagnetism that helps to provide evidence for quantum numbers.

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 2 weeks 1 day ago
by Dean Campbell
Tue, 11/02/2021 - 11:20

Addition of a small amount of azobenzene to eicosane can lower its melting point to where it can be melted by body heat. This can be used in demonstrations and classroom activities related to freezing point depression and phase diagrams.

Recent activity: 4 weeks 1 day ago
by Dean Campbell
Thu, 10/28/2021 - 14:09

Thermal paper such as that used for point of sale receipts typically functions by darkening when exposed to heat. The pigment system used in this paper also darkens when exposed to solvents of intermediate polarity and acids. This enables thermal paper to be used as an inexpensive sort of indicator paper for a variety of demonstrations.

Recent activity: 1 month 20 hours ago
by Nora Walsh
Wed, 10/27/2021 - 10:43

While students usually do well with naming binary ionic compounds of fixed charge, many students struggle with naming ionic compounds that contain ions of variable charge. This activity uses a technique often found in humanities classes, a gallery walk, as a guided inquiry experience harnessing real-life applications of several sets of related compounds to address many common misconceptions and lead students to discover the meaning of the Roman numerals when naming and writing formulas for these compounds.

Recent activity: 3 weeks 3 days ago
by Joseph Lomax
Sun, 10/24/2021 - 09:53

Quantum mechanics is a proverbially and quintessentially challenging topic. It is the poster-child of difficulty in chemistry. Setting up the discussion for the four quantum numbers is fraught with potential and confusion. In this post learn about a different way to teach about orbitals.

Recent activity: 1 month 1 week ago
by Chad Husting
Tue, 10/19/2021 - 08:25

Navigating the waters through a year with multiple hurdles can be difficult but not impossible with microscale chemistry and standards based grading.

Comments: 7
Recent activity: 5 days 13 hours ago
by Josh Kenney
Sun, 10/17/2021 - 14:49

Teaching during COVID was challenging; however, a few positive results surprisingly emerged. For one, Josh Kenney filmed a small library of chemistry lab videos for use in virtual chemistry labs after his school switched to remote learning. At first, he wasn't sure if he would continue to use those videos when his district returned to in-person instruction until he discovered that they would make excellent pre-lab assignments. 

Recent activity: 1 month 2 weeks ago