ChemEd X contributors offer their ideas and opinions on a broad spectrum of topics pertaining to chemical education.

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by Thomas Shiland
Fri, 11/19/2021 - 18:01

A simple demonstration for high school chemistry students is described which gives a plausible connection between electrons as waves and the shapes of the s and p orbitals. This demonstration may build a transition from electrons as particles to electrons as waves.

Recent activity: 2 years 1 week ago
by Chad Husting
Sun, 11/07/2021 - 18:53

Here is a quick and easy yet powerful experiment for para and diamagnetism that helps to provide evidence for quantum numbers.

Comments: 4
Recent activity: 2 years 2 weeks ago
by Dean Campbell
Tue, 11/02/2021 - 11:20

Addition of a small amount of azobenzene to eicosane can lower its melting point to where it can be melted by body heat. This can be used in demonstrations and classroom activities related to freezing point depression and phase diagrams.

Recent activity: 2 years 4 weeks ago
by Dean Campbell
Thu, 10/28/2021 - 14:09

Thermal paper such as that used for point of sale receipts typically functions by darkening when exposed to heat. The pigment system used in this paper also darkens when exposed to solvents of intermediate polarity and acids. This enables thermal paper to be used as an inexpensive sort of indicator paper for a variety of demonstrations.

Recent activity: 2 years 1 month ago
by Nora Walsh
Wed, 10/27/2021 - 10:43

While students usually do well with naming binary ionic compounds of fixed charge, many students struggle with naming ionic compounds that contain ions of variable charge. This activity uses a technique often found in humanities classes, a gallery walk, as a guided inquiry experience harnessing real-life applications of several sets of related compounds to address many common misconceptions and lead students to discover the meaning of the Roman numerals when naming and writing formulas for these compounds.

Recent activity: 2 years 3 weeks ago
by Joseph Lomax
Sun, 10/24/2021 - 09:53

Quantum mechanics is a proverbially and quintessentially challenging topic. It is the poster-child of difficulty in chemistry. Setting up the discussion for the four quantum numbers is fraught with potential and confusion. In this post learn about a different way to teach about orbitals.

Recent activity: 1 year 11 months ago
by Chad Husting
Tue, 10/19/2021 - 08:25

Navigating the waters through a year with multiple hurdles can be difficult but not impossible with microscale chemistry and standards based grading.

Comments: 7
Recent activity: 2 years 5 days ago
by Josh Kenney
Sun, 10/17/2021 - 14:49

Teaching during COVID was challenging; however, a few positive results surprisingly emerged. For one, Josh Kenney filmed a small library of chemistry lab videos for use in virtual chemistry labs after his school switched to remote learning. At first, he wasn't sure if he would continue to use those videos when his district returned to in-person instruction until he discovered that they would make excellent pre-lab assignments. 

Recent activity: 2 years 1 month ago
by Melanie Harvey
Fri, 10/08/2021 - 23:50

FERPA allows a faculty to record class meetings and share them with students registered in that section of the course, but that doesn't mean a faculty should. Read more about why or why not. 

Recent activity: 2 years 1 month ago
by Thomas Cox
Fri, 10/08/2021 - 23:30

Whether in the classroom or in the online format, students typically struggle to envision the infamous Rutherford (aka Geiger-Marsden) gold foil experiment. A short video was created that describes the experimental design and set up. Enjoy...


Recent activity: 2 years 1 month ago