Thin sheets of polystyrene can be patterned with permanent markers to represent repeating units of the polymer and then shrunk down in size using heat. The shrunken models of the repeating units can be connected with a string and then flipped into positions to demonstrate different types of polymer tacticity.
The differing electrostatic and solubility properties of starch and polystyrene foam packing peanuts are used in various demonstrations to describe aspects of microplastics and their interactions with the environment. Their differing responses to exposure to liquid nitrogen and iodine solutions are also described.
Some explorations and explanations regarding superconductors and the quantum levitation (also known as quantum locking) experiment.
During the last few semesters, a small survey has been deployed at Bradley University where students were to describe and classify items of litter that they found. The purposes of the surveys were to get students thinking about some of the chemical implications of solid waste and give the students some experience with a citizen science project. The most recent iteration of the survey, and some of its results, are described.
Cold weather brings about the opportunity to demonstrate glass transition temperatures of polypropylene containers.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the September 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education of special interest to our ChemEd X community.
I just finished my first week of school, like many teachers in the Midwest. I work hard to get my Honors Chemistry students in a lab setting as soon as possible. It is difficult to find a perfect lab to do on the first or second day of school. In my mind, the ideal first chemistry lab would require no prior chemistry knowledge, involve interesting chemistry, address an NGSS standard, be relatively safe, not require expensive glassware or lab tools, and reinforce positive class norms. I have found engineering labs fit the bill! I don't know if I have found the "perfect" lab, but I have found something close I want to share!
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the August 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education of special interest to our ChemEd X community.
The solution to Chemical Mystery #15: The Leaky Cup is shown here.
Time for a new chemical mystery! Watch the video below and see if you can use your chemical knowledge to figure out how this experiment is done.