Tissue paper can be folded and cut with chemistry-related patterns to make decorative paper banners that can be used as Mexican-themed decorations. Chemistry concept connections include lattice energy, bandgap energy, and ionic crystal fracture.
Dean Campbell's blog
Regularly dimpled trays such as those used in food packaging can be used to represent layers of atoms in solid structures. For example, the square array of dimples in transparent plastic mini quiche trays can be used to depict layers within cubic or tetragonal unit cells. Multiple solid structures and ways to represent those structures are described.
The color of a thermochromic system depends on its temperature. The colors of leuco dye-based systems can also be influenced by adding acids or bases to the thermochromic reactions. These can be used to create colorful demonstrations of acid-base chemistry. Thermochromism found in color changing cups can also be used to visualize heat flow, and therefore thermodynamic principles, associated with stretching and contracting elastomers.
Ordinary playing cards can be used in games where the cards model valence electrons in atoms. These games could provide players with a fun and active way to practice counting valence electrons in simple chemical structures.
The shapes of plastic bottles can be used to represent orbitals. Using various connectors, a bit of packing tape, and a few other more specialized touches can produce large scale molecular models that feature orbitals, sigma bonds, and pi bonds.
Dean Campbell tries to use at least one demo for every class to illustrate concepts described in his chemistry courses. In this post, he includes short descriptions of the demonstrations and props he has used while teaching his collegiate General Chemistry II courses.
This timely post is a perfect fit for the theme of Chemists Celebrate Earth Week 2023! Algae is a rich topic with many possible connections to the chemistry classroom. Algae needs to take in light, carbon dioxide, and various simple nutrients and, though it can sometimes get out of control, can produce oxygen, diatomaceous earth, and other products. It can even fluoresce pink!
Laser cutters can be used to cut and engrave a variety of thin materials. Compact discs, composed of layers of polycarbonate plastic and aluminum metal, were explored for their ability to be shaped with a laser cutter. The laser can successfully cut and engrave the compact discs into the shape of snowflake. However, each disc must first be coated with a material like glue in order to protect the plastic from discoloration and the byproducts from cutting the plastic that can accumulate on the disc surface.