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.
What does a recent visit to Fort Bridger State Historic Park in southwestern Wyoming, a plant similar to an onion, and an armed conflict between Native Americans and the US government have anything to do with chemistry? Much. Check it out here.
Erica Jacobsen shares highlights from the September 2019 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education of special interest to our ChemEd X community.
Chemists tend to think of the Table as an old friend– reliable and static, but that is not the whole story. Piqued your interest? Click on the title to sate your curiosity.
Bill Hammack, Michael Faraday, and the timeless beauty of the science behind the combustion of a candle. "There is no more open door by which you can enter into the study of science than by considering the physical phenomena of a candle," Michael Faraday.
Radium Girls is one of those books that can’t be put down. It challenges us with imagery so vivid that sometimes you just want to look away, but you are so invested in the lives of the girls that you persevere to the end. It is tragic and strong but also hopeful and tender.
The Festival of the Spoken Nerd is a trio of comedians who work in comedy clubs in the UK, using material based on science and math. From the routines and jokes developed for their shows, two of the three members of the group have distilled “The Element in the Room”.
Are you up for trying an ambitious experiment that combines archeology, instrumental analysis, and a search for patterns in data? Then this activity might fit the bill!
The University of Waterloo is doing another collaborative project! If you missed out on participating in our 2011 Periodic Table Project, this is your opportunity to have your students celebrate and be part of a worldwide initiative.
One of my goals for 2017 was to read more chemistry non-fiction. I accomplished that with three and a half books read. That doesn't seem like much, but given how busy I've been lately it was quite an accomplishment! I offer a brief review of my most recent book here, "The Alchemy of Air" by Thomas Hager.