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 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.
Flat, symmetrical molecules can be modeled by folding a sheet of paper, cutting patterns into the folded structure, and unfolding to produce the flat paper models. The finished models resemble paper snowflakes, but have a variety of rotational symmetries. Template patterns for several molecules are available for download in the Supporting Information.
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.
This activity aims to boost students’ confidence in representing the atomic world. It also aims to educate both students and the general public about the “chemicals” found in everyday objects.
The author explains a virtual chemistry lab activity for use in a high school chemistry class. This activity is an excellent way to introduce measurements, significant figures, and the concept of density.
Many teachers have students draw models and diagrams to help them illustrate how matter behaves. Teachers can uncover and address possible misconceptions quickly using this strategy. The author describes how to create interactive particle diagram activities that are easy for students to use online. This strategy is applicable to almost any particle diagram and should be useful for teachers during virtual lessons.
This book is filled with computer based labs that can be used in a range of classes from high school chemistry to an undergraduate course in physical chemistry. Bentham Science has generously provided free online access to the eBook through June 30, 2020.
With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been much discussion of “flattening the curve” by social distancing. These ideas can be demonstrated chemically, for example, by the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to produce an oxygen gas foam. Decreased hydrogen peroxide concentrations, representing decreased human population concentrations from social distancing, produce oxygen gas foam, representing cases of illness, at a slower rate. A similar demonstration can be achieved using the popular Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. These simple experiments are best used as stand-alone demonstrations.
Particulate diagrams are all the rage in chemical education. Learn simple tricks to create your own!