JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Capping Off a Unique Redesign of the Laboratory Curriculum

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.

Improvisation in the Classroom

I recently attended a workshop at my state conference about improvisation techniques to use in the classroom. As a teacher we are challenged to constantly adapt our pedagogical techniques to meet the needs of our learners, and this workshop provided some new strategies to do just that.

A “Science Reasoning Rubric” to Support Argumentative Writing

I put together a Science Reasoning Rubric that can be used for many writing prompts in a Chemistry class. It can be used whether a prompt is more suited toward a claim or an explanation. I like that the rubric can be used for lots of the writing tasks students will encounter in a Chemistry class. This means students get used to seeing it, and this consistency is helpful as students write explanations and claims throughout the year.

JCE 96.01 January 2019 Issue Highlights

Ninety-Six Years New

The January 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available 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.

Immobilization of Lactase Enzyme on Alginate Beads - A Quick Test

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. 

Chemistry ROCKS!

With a Master's degree in geology, I have a deep and abiding love for rocks and minerals. The great thing about geology is, it's all about chemistry! I want to share one of my favorite links between geology and chemistry that my students think is pretty cool too.