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Collaboration among Chemical Educators
The February 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: microplastics and environmental chemistry; examining outreach practices; investigating acid–base chemistry; using Arduino to experiment with carbon dioxide; innovative approaches to analytical chemistry; three-dimensional visualization and tactile learning; understanding Lewis structures; synthesis laboratories; exploring physical chemistry; from the archives: celebrating the International Year of the Periodic Table.
The American Chemical Society Western Michigan Section is planning a special International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) celebration to be held at Grand Valley State University in Michigan on October 19th. The highlight of the celebration will be the unveiling of the largest periodic table in hopes of setting a Guinness World Record. Schools and groups are invited to help with the IYPT project by making one of the 118 elements.
Trends related to placement of elements on the periodic table are often taught using diagrams in a textbook. Students often memorize trends, but to get a true grasp of their meaning and what causes certain patterns is best understood when students create their own models and discuss the patterns with others.
A few years ago, the faculty in our department at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania decided to switch to an atoms first approach to the General Chemistry course. We took advantage of this change to systematically redesign the first semester of the laboratory curriculum to be a true “laboratory course” that focuses on laboratory practices, techniques, and equipment rather than on chemical theory.
Read Dr. Nakita Noel’s career profile describing her background and her current position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Princeton Research Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.
Ninety-Six Years New
The January 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: chemical biology, innovative curriculum for the classroom and laboratory, promoting effective teaching methods in organic chemistry, improving student conceptual models, cost-effective and low-waste equipment and experiments, using instructional videos to teach, exploring materials science, instrumental analytical experiments, organic chemistry laboratories, research on success in chemistry, from the archives: anodizing.
I came across an interesting Journal of Chemical Education article that explains how it is possible to crosslink sodium alginate, leading to the formation of calcium alginate beads. Calcium alginate beads are hydrogels and one of their uses is to immobilize enzymes in their structure. I thought it would be cool to immobilize some lactase enzyme onto calcium alginate beads and investigate its ability to hydrolyze lactose.
Some research indicates that it is not always beneficial for students to work entirely on their own as they conduct inquiry-based investigations. This article explores a method of inquiry learning in which teachers and students work together to envision, conduct, and analyze experiments.
ChemEd X has invited professionals working in chemistry related fields to write about their background, experience and advice they have for those interested in a similar career path. Chemistry instructors can use these as a resource to help students glimpse the variety of chemistry related fields open to them.