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 Dean Campbell
Mon, 01/23/2023 - 14:11

Egg cartons and small objects such as milk jug caps or plastic eggs can be used to illustrate chemical concepts. The egg cartons can be cut into trays to represent atoms or to represent energy levels associated with atomic orbitals. The plastic caps or eggs distributed among the dimples of the trays can be used to represent electrons or pairs of electrons.

Recent activity: 1 year 4 months ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Wed, 01/04/2023 - 09:56

Some metals and metal alloys undergo a transition to brittleness at cold temperature. This phenomenon likely contributed to the demise of the Titanic.

Recent activity: 2 months 14 hours ago
by Dean Campbell
Tue, 01/03/2023 - 08:05

Describing the number density of molecules involved in chemistry demonstrations while presenting those demonstrations can help to convey concepts such as the small size of molecules and how the distance between molecules can vary during change of physical state.

Recent activity: 1 year 4 months ago
by Dean Campbell
Sat, 12/03/2022 - 21:08

Short descriptions of demonstrations and props that Dean Campbell has used while teaching his collegiate Environmental Chemistry course. Many of these examples are also suitable for use in high school and collegiate General Chemistry courses.

Recent activity: 3 months 2 weeks ago
by Karen Sorensen
Sun, 11/20/2022 - 14:10

Exploring science claims found on social media helps students practice applying the claim, evidence, reasoning framework.

Comments: 3
Recent activity: 1 year 3 months ago
by Joseph Lomax
Sat, 11/12/2022 - 22:28

Sometimes the obvious is the most difficult to see. Even after teaching for four decades, there is still something to learn from students. What did I recently learn? Check out my post. 

Recent activity: 4 months 1 week ago
by Philip Root
Sat, 11/12/2022 - 20:43

Find out how laboratory activities can be used as the starting point for scientific model development rather than as the endpoint, or verification, of concepts presented in lecture. This post deals with density.

Recent activity: 1 year 6 months ago
by Dean Campbell
Thu, 11/10/2022 - 16:45

Polystyrene foam sticks with a square or rectangular profile will not fit into a round target hole (e.g., the opening of a soda bottle) at room temperature. However, they do contract sufficiently in contact with liquid nitrogen to fit into the hole and produce a simple demonstration of Charles’s Law. Many other polymer foams do not shrink under these conditions, but still provide opportunities to discuss and explore their structure and chemistry.

Recent activity: 4 months 1 week ago
by Tom Kuntzleman
Mon, 10/17/2022 - 17:09

This Pumpkinator is a fantastic orange-to-blue-to-orange chemical reaction that will make a great addition to your Halloween-themed chemistry demonstrations.

Recent activity: 6 months 3 weeks ago
by Dean Campbell
Mon, 10/10/2022 - 09:00

The theme to the 2022 National Chemistry Week, observed October 16-22, is “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics”. A visit to Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. in Peoria, IL, revealed how that company is using ionic liquids to solvent weld cellulose fibers together to produce more durable yarn which can then be made into more durable fabric. The production method and “greenness” of the product is discussed, from the cellulose itself to the recycling of the solution used in the welding process. Macroscopic demonstrations of the fiber solvent welding process are also described. 

Comments: 1
Recent activity: 1 year 7 months ago