JCE 92.11—November 2015 Issue Highlights

Journal of Chemical Education November 2015 Cover

Educational Opportunities and Challenges

The November 2015 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: materials science; polymer chemistry activities; green chemistry; biochemistry in the laboratory;  research on student attitudes and the transition from high school to college chemistry; assessment; computer-based learning and computations; from the archives: chemistry YouTube videos.

Cover: Bubble Rafts

Bubble rafts illustrate the structure of both crystalline and amorphous materials, providing a striking analogy to recent research results on atomic-scale network structures. Thus, bubble rafts are ideally suited to study the complex structure of the everyday material, glass. Students produce soap bubble networks and develop statistical descriptions of the interface between crystalline and amorphous domains in the lab exercises presented in Characterizing Crystalline-Vitreous Structures: From Atomically Resolved Silica to Macroscopic Bubble Rafts by Kristen M. Burson, Philomena Schlexer, Christin Büchner, Leonid Lichtenstein, Markus Heyde, and Hans-Joachim Freund.  Additional articles on materials science are highlighted below.


Close to one-quarter of the U.S. population is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. In the editorial Immigrant Students in the U.S. Chemistry Classroom: An Educational Opportunity and Challenge, Donald J. Wink outlines how chemistry educators have the opportunity to address this group in four important ways: (i) by considering pedagogical, systematic, and content responses to working with immigrant students; (ii) educating for international connections; (iii) including new countries and cultures in educational content; and (iv) working with undocumented students.


How Did We Get Here? Teaching Chemistry with a Historical Perspective ~ Kristin A. Olsson , Meena M. Balgopal , Nancy E. Levinger

Materials Science

Visualizing and Modeling

Visualizing Nanocatalysts in Action from Color Change Reaction to Magnetic Recycling and Reuse ~ Reuben Hudson, Alexandra Bishop, Samuel Glaisher, and Jeffrey L. Katz

From Desktop Toy to Educational Aid: Neo Magnets as an Alternative to Ball-and-Stick Models in Representing Carbon Fullerenes ~ Jacqueline Y. Kao, Min-Han Yang, and Chi-Young Lee

3D Printed Block Copolymer Nanostructures ~ Vincent F. Scalfani, C. Heath Turner, Paul A. Rupar, Alexander H. Jenkins, and Jason E. Bara

3D-Printing Crystallographic Unit Cells for Learning Materials Science and Engineering ~ Philip P. Rodenbough, William B. Vanti, and Siu-Wai Chan

Laboratory Expermients

Synthesis and Characterization of Quantum Dots: A Case Study Using PbS ~ Yi Pan, Yue Ru Li, Yu Zhao, and Daniel L. Akins

Simple Graphene Synthesis via Chemical Vapor Deposition ~ Robert M. Jacobberger, Rushad Machhi, Jennifer Wroblewski, Ben Taylor, Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel, and Michael S. Arnold

Fabrication of Polyvinylpyrrolidone Micro-/Nanostructures Utilizing Microcontact Printing ~ Wesley C. Sanders

Fabrication of Metal Nanoparticle-Modified Screen Printed Carbon Electrodes for the Evaluation of Hydrogen Peroxide Content in Teeth Whitening Strips ~ Adriana Popa, Eric C. Abenojar, Adam Vianna, Czarina Y. A. Buenviaje, Jiahua Yang, Cherrie B. Pascual, and Anna Cristina S. Samia

Just What Is It That Makes Silver Nanoprisms so Different, so Appealing? ~ Guido Panzarasa

Undergraduate Laboratory Experiment Modules for Probing Gold Nanoparticle Interfacial Phenomena ~ Akila G. Karunanayake, Sameera R. Gunatilake, Fathima S. Ameer, Manuel Gadogbe, Laura Smith, Deb Mlsna, and Dongmao Zhang

Comment on “Shining Light on Nanochemistry Using Silver Nanoparticle-Enhanced Luminol Chemiluminescence” ~ Muthupandian Ashokkumar and Sambandam Anandan

Polymer Chemistry Activities

Demonstration of the Coagulation and Diffusion of Homemade Slime Prepared Under Acidic Conditions without Borate ~ Naho Isokawa, Kazuki Fueda, Korin Miyagawa, and Kenichi Kanno

Demonstrating the Effects of Processing on the Structure and Physical Properties of Plastic Using Disposable PETE Cups ~ Kendra A. Erk, Morgan Rhein, Matthew J. Krafcik, and Sophie Ydstie

From Lobster Shells to Plastic Objects: A Bioplastics Activity ~Reuben Hudson, Samuel Glaisher, Alexandra Bishop, and Jeffrey L. Katz

Green Chemistry

Simplified Application of Material Efficiency Green Metrics to Synthesis Plans: Pedagogical Case Studies Selected from Organic Syntheses ~ John Andraos , Andrei Hent

Useful Material Efficiency Green Metrics Problem Set Exercises for Lecture and Laboratory ~ John Andraos , Andrei Hent

Demonstration A Miniature Wastewater Cleaning Plant to Demonstrate Primary Treatment in the Classroom ~ Bastien Néel, Catia Cardoso, Didier Perret, and Eric Bakker

Laboratory Experiment Assessing Process Mass Intensity and Waste via an aza-Baylis–Hillman Reaction ~ Rodolfo F. Gómez-Biagi and Andrew P. Dicks

Comment on “A Better Magnetic Stir Bar Retriever” ~ Stephen L. Bearne

Biochemistry in the Laboratory

A DNA Melting Exercise for a Large Laboratory Class ~ Lauren A. Levine, Matthew Junker, Myranda Stark, and Dustin Greenleaf

Synthesis and 1H NMR Spectroscopic Elucidation of Five- and Six-Membered d-Ribonolactone Derivatives ~ Eric S. Sales and Gustavo P. Silveira

Real-Time Enzyme Kinetics by Quantitative NMR Spectroscopy and Determination of the Michaelis–Menten Constant Using the Lambert-W Function ~ Cheenou Her, Aaron P. Alonzo, Justin Y. Vang, Ernesto Torres, and V. V. Krishnan

Chemical Education Research: Student Attitudes and the Transition from High School to College Chemistry

Exploring the Structure and Function of the Chemistry Self-Concept Inventory with High School Chemistry Students ~ Sara E. Nielsen and Ellen Yezierski

Preparation for College General Chemistry: More than Just a Matter of Content Knowledge Acquisition ~ Mark S. Cracolice and Brittany D. Busby


A Historical Investigation into Item Formats of ACS Exams and Their Relationships to Science Practices ~ Alexandra Brandriet, Jessica J. Reed, and Thomas Holme

Developing and Implementing an Assessment Technique To Measure Linked Concepts ~ Li Ye, Razanne Oueini, and Scott E. Lewis (recently featured as a JCE Pick)

Student Perceptions of Online Homework Use for Formative Assessment of Learning in Organic Chemistry ~ Michelle Richards-Babb, Reagan Curtis, Zornitsa Georgieva, and John H. Penn

Computer-Based Learning and Computations

Teaching Fundamental Skills in Microsoft Excel to First-Year Students in Quantitative Analysis ~ Samuel J. Rubin and Binyomin Abrams

Electrostatic Potential Maps and Natural Bond Orbital Analysis: Visualization and Conceptualization of Reactivity in Sanger’s Reagent ~ Jeffery D. Mottishaw, Adam R. Erck, Jordan H. Kramer, Haoran Sun, and Miles Koppang

Exploring Do-It-Yourself Approaches in Computational Quantum Chemistry: The Pedagogical Benefits of the Classical Boys Algorithm ~ Gabriele Orsini

Vibrational Spectroscopy of the CCl4 ν1 Mode: Effect of Thermally Populated Vibrational States ~ James D. Gaynor, Anna M. Wetterer, Rea M. Cochran, Edward J. Valente, and Steven G. Mayer

PQcalc, an Online Calculator for Science Learners ~ Karsten Theis

From the Archives: Chemistry YouTube Videos

In DanceChemistry: Helping Students Visualize Chemistry Concepts through Dance Videos, Gidget C. Tay and Kimberly D. Edwards use dance videos posted on YouTube to teach fundamental ideas in chemistry. Creating and using videos is a powerful way to share ideas, and some addition recent articles using YouTube as part of this exchange include:

iTube, YouTube, WeTube: Social Media Videos in Chemistry Education and Outreach
~ David K. Smith

Using YouTube as a Platform for Teaching and Learning Solubility Rules ~ Joseph Lichter

Teaching Chemistry Using Student-Created Videos and Photo Blogs Accessed with Smartphones and Two-Dimensional Barcodes
~ Lucille Benedict and Harry E. Pence

Organic Chemistry YouTube Writing Assignment for Large Lecture Classes ~ Annaliese K. Franz

JCE Resources Provide Opportunities

With 92 volumes of the Journal of Chemical Education to explore, you will always find something useful—including all of the articles mentioned above, and many more, in the Journal of Chemical Education. Articles that are edited and published online ahead of print (ASAP—As Soon As Publishable) are also available.

If you are considering writing an article for JCE, there are numerous author resources available on JCE’s ACS Web site, including Author Guidelines, Document Templates, and Reference Guidelines.