Rajasree Swaminathan has developed a series of books that combines story-telling and visual representation of the elements as human characters. Along with hands-on activities, these books have created enthusiasm in her chemistry classes.
Atomic Properties / Structure
Celebrating National Chemistry Week 2019
The October 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: marvelous metals; safety; engaging activities on nuclear chemistry and self-healing hydrogels; chemistry activities for students studying nursing; fostering community; mathematics and computer models in chemistry; innovative experiments; challenges of demonstrating the atmospheric greenhouse effect; chemical education research; resources for teaching.
Chemistry Education: A Bridge to the Future
The August 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: authentic chemistry laboratories; student motivation, sustained interest, and student success; student understanding of fundamental concepts; aids to assessment; computer-based learning; active learning activities; engaging polymer chemistry activities; experimenting with flavor and food; organic chemistry laboratories; spectroscopy laboratories; acid-base chemistry; from the archives: polymer properties.
I have been using magnets of elements and subatomic particles for some time to help my students visualize what is happening at the particle level of chemistry. I now have more tools to use and I hope you follow me and explore what we can do with them to help our students.
Light is a challenging topic in chemistry. In this article, I share an outline of how I approach the content related to interactions between matter and light using activities, a simulation, demonstrations and whiteboards.
College Board offers an excellent online resource for teachers and students. It's not free, but my school district pays the bill. AP Insight provides curriculum outlines, teaching ideas and resources, student handouts, and digitally-graded assessments.
Robert C. Rittenhouse
Walla Walla College, College Place, WA 99324
John C. Wright and Jon L. Holmes
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706
We’ve all seen and use the so-called Aufbau Diagram. It is a mnemonic used to remember the order of “filling” of atomic orbitals during the construction of the ground state electron configurations of the elements. The presentation of this diagram is largely disconnected from any physical meaning. Here’s what we tell our students: “Memorize the diagram, learn to use it, and you’re guaranteed to get the right answer.”
A complete understanding of why each element has a particular electronic configurations is a very complex subject. Even so, some confusion regarding the electronic configurations of the elements may be alleviated by looking at the physical properties of the electronic orbitals.
Have you ever wondered what is the theoretically largest possible value for the atomic number of an element? Using some introductory physics and algebra, you can get your students thinking about this idea.