The theme to the 2022 National Chemistry Week, observed October 16-22, is “Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics”. A visit to Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. in Peoria, IL, revealed how that company is using ionic liquids to solvent weld cellulose fibers together to produce more durable yarn which can then be made into more durable fabric. The production method and “greenness” of the product is discussed, from the cellulose itself to the recycling of the solution used in the welding process. Macroscopic demonstrations of the fiber solvent welding process are also described.
The classic classroom or lab activity using coin flips to illustrate the first order kinetics of radioactive decay is connected to the tragedy of radiation exposure of workers at facilities using radium-containing luminescent paint. Some of the chemistry related to the contamination of these “radium girls” is explored, with connections being made to the Principles of Green Chemistry and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Beyond Benign develops and supports teachers to advance sustainable science education. Learn how these teachers are practicing Green Chemistry in the classroom, mentoring colleagues, and growing professional learning communities.
Stacks of LEGO bricks can be used to illustrate the composition and pressures of various planetary atmospheres. Guides for the construction and use of these atmosphere sticks are provided.
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.
The May 2021 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching biochemistry, assessment, learning to think like a scientist, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, surface chemistry, solution mixing, organic chemistry laboratory experiments and activities, computer-based experiences, research on promoting student success, from the archives: systems thinking.
This year so many in-person events at school have not been able to happen due to COVID restrictions. One activity that the author's science honor society students have enjoyed greatly is the Skype with a Scientist Live sessions. Students register in advance and then have the opportunity to be face to face with a scientist.
The December 2020 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available online to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: teaching during COVID-19; examining models used by students; chemical structure; game-based learning; interdisciplinary courses; teaching chemistry using plants; laboratory instruction with real-world context; fluorescence; exploring spectroscopy; thermodynamics; chemical education research; from the archives: photography.
The concept of density is investigated regularly- in lecture, lab, or both- in Introductory (non-science majors) or the majors General Chemistry 1 courses. This post describes a short activity involving ice core density.
Learn a simple way to relate the heat equation (Q = mc∆T ) to climate change.