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.

Geometric Approach to Lewis Structures


If you look at any chemistry textbook, you will see Lewis structures introduced long before electronic and molecular geometries. This makes sense since you need Lewis structures to determine molecular geometry. Unfortunately, research has shown that students often do not recognize that the purpose of drawing Lewis structures is not to create the structure itself but to use it as tool to understand the properties of the molecule (Cooper, Grove, Underwood & Klymkowsky, 2010).

Why I think I love Atomsmith...

I first stumbled upon Atomsmith at Chem Ed 2015. Totally loved the way you could pop up a number of molecules on the big screen and move them around. They had really cool stuff like showing and modeling phase changes with water. They demonstrated the ability to show quantum orbitals in which you can see all of the clouds combined and then separate the electron clouds into individual orbitals. I was all set to jump in feet first and then my heart sank...they had it on everything but chromebooks (which is what we use at my school). The presenter suggested that I contact the good people at Atomsmith. They have been working on an online version that runs on chromebooks.

AACT GOVERNING Board Elections 2016


I wonder how many of the ChemEdX readers are also members of AACT? The American Association of Chemistry Teachers has been a long time coming and is in its second year of operation now. It is currently being supported by the American Chemical Society and is a separate, and much more affordable, membership than ACS. One year of membership is only $50 and includes a subscription to Chem Matters Magazine.

Using the Talk Science Primer in a Chemistry Classroom

TERC: Talk Science Primer

While attending a professional development session last year I was introduced to the Talk Science Primer, developed by the Inquiry Project and TERC. Although the research and sample population targeted educators and students grades three through five, I decided to review the material to analyze if it had any value in a chemistry classroom.

What do you do for AP Chemistry review?

ap exam date May 2

It’s review season for AP courses! I have a love/hate relationship with the date of the AP Chemistry exam. On one hand, it’s SO early. On the other hand, because it’s the first exam, my students actually study for it (compared to later in the AP exam season when students are like, “I’m done. I don’t care anymore.”).

A different way to look at heat and energy....

energy bar charts

Each year we work on specific heat of materials and the heat of fusion of ice. These are two labs that are typical for most chemistry classrooms. Most of the experiments involve a simple calorimetry experiment that uses a styrofoam cup and provides generally good results. There tend to be a couple of key ideas with all of these experiments.

Coding in Chemistry


Computer coding has been getting a lot of attention with the Hour of Code movement and President Obama’s recent “Computer Science for All” initiative. Just like it is no longer solely the job of the English teacher to teach language and communication skills, it is no longer solely the job of the computer science teacher to teach programming skills.