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
Sat, 12/06/2014 - 19:40

Cellulose nitrate (also known as nitrocellulose or guncotton) is a very flammable substance that is formed by reacting cellulose (also known as dietary fiber) with a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids:


Comments: 1
Recent activity: 1 year 6 months ago
by Bob Worley
Tue, 11/25/2014 - 16:24

Whenever a serious incident takes place in a school chemistry laboratory or classroom, fire and safety officers often pontificate on the incident by quoting the Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). However, how many of you have read such documents in full? In UK schools we have perhaps 200 to 400 chemicals on the shelves. Have you read the MSDSs for each chemical?

Comments: 3
Recent activity: 4 years 9 months ago
by Erica K. Jacobsen
Sun, 11/23/2014 - 17:06

TV and movie screens today offer us a desperate fight against crazy-fast zombies, a peek into celebrities’ lives where truth is often stranger than fiction, million-dollar game shows, and more. Can portraits of science compete?

Recent activity: 9 months 1 week ago
by Larry Dukerich
Wed, 11/19/2014 - 16:19

In a recent contribution to ChemEd X "Stoichiometry is Easy", the author states that he has "vacillated over the years between using an algorithmic method, and an inquiry-based approach to teaching stoichiometry. " I would like to suggest that there is another approach to mastering stoichiometry and that it should precede the algorithmic one: it is the conceptual approach based on a particle model to represent the species involved in chemical reactions.

Comments: 2
Recent activity: 1 year 6 months ago
by Deanna Cullen
Mon, 10/27/2014 - 17:58

The new AP Chemistry curriculum is in the second year of use. Photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) is a topic that generated much discussion because it is an addition to the curriculum. Jamie Benigna of Michigan teaches AP Chemistry, is an AP reader and recently wrote an article about PES for the Journal of Chemistry Education Special Issue. The article discusses the rationale for including PES in the course, explains some background of PES and provides strategies for including PES in your own course. This article is offered as a free preview of the AP Special Issue. 

Recent activity: 1 year 6 months ago
by Sarah Kong
Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:44

Wishing all of you a very Mole-tastic day today!  Enjoy each 6.02 x 10^23 moment!!

Recent activity: 1 year 6 months ago
by Shelly Belleau
Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:21

In this post I would like us to consider the ways teachers can help support and scaffold the process of making claims and drawing conclusions on the basis of evidence.  Not only is this grounded in the scientific practices addressed in the Next Generation Science Standard

Recent activity: 9 months 1 week ago
by Erica Posthuma
Mon, 10/20/2014 - 08:34

There have been many conversations within the Chemistry Education community surrounding the revisions to the AP curriculum. Twitter has been buzzing with instructors debating how to implement the changes, conferences and workshops have participants deconstructing the data from last year’s exam, and classroom teachers are working diligently to prepare their students for this year’s test. One way the College Board has tried to shift the AP curriculum away from algorithmic problem solving and toward more meaningful conceptual understanding is through the use of particle diagrams.

Recent activity: 1 year 3 months ago
by greg rushton
Sat, 10/18/2014 - 05:28

Hi everyone, I’ve spent much of my time over the past 10 years since moving from high school to college chemistry teaching thinking about whether I made the right choice in doing so.

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 9 months 1 week ago
by Lowell Thomson
Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:22

In my previous post, I shared the general formatting of the videos I create for my IB Chemistry course within which I utilize the flipped model. Within that blog post, I mentioned that I use Google Forms to collect data about the videos, and I'd like to offer some thoughts on this as a tool with many uses.

Comments: 2
Recent activity: 1 year 6 months ago