Understanding Chemistry through Microscale Practical Work - Great Resource

Microscale Chemistry

I will cut right to the chase. “Understanding Chemistry through microscale practical work” by Bob Worley, David Paterson and with Sarah Longshaw is a book you should get if you ever want to consider successfully doing microscale chemistry with students. I tried getting the book on Amazon unsuccessfully at the writing of this pick. I was able to get a PDF version of the book at this LINK.

Now time for a little context and history. Years ago I dipped my toe into the waters of microscale chemistry. Some of my attempts went well. Others, not so much. Quickly I noticed the incredible potential with safety, lab set up, cost and accessibility. Then I ran into one of the authors, Bob Worley, at a conference. Bob totally kicked the microscale chemistry conversation up a notch. All of his experiments were engaging, safe, effective, simple and challenging for students. After years of sending him emails and grabbing stuff off his website, he helped write a book on the topic. It is worth every penny (or in this case, about 25 English pounds).

The book has ten chapters with a total of 42 activities. There is something for almost any level of chemistry that you might teach. All of the authors have a say in this book. There are plenty of experiments with equipment that is both relatively easy to access and inexpensive. Each chapter includes some talk about pedagogy, safety, perspectives from the instructors and chemical education research. Some of the chapters include a suggested sequence as well. The instructions for the activities are some of the best I have come across. The pictures and diagrams are clear, not overly complicated and in color. Here are just a few of the topics covered in this book.

Chemical Reactions

Particles, Ions and Molecules

Quantitative Chemistry


Rates of Reaction and Dynamic Equilibrium


The only problem with this book is that it is like drinking water through a firehose. I could easily sit down with this and not leave it for a good amount of time. It is also one that I will probably never loan out. I would hate to take a chance of not getting it back.


Publication information
Alt. Title: 

Microscale Chemistry

Publication Date: 
Sunday, February 6, 2022
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Comments 1

Andres Tretiakov's picture
Andres Tretiakov | Wed, 02/23/2022 - 02:19

Nice one Chad! Thanks for writing the review. Hope the book becomes more easily available soon.

Best wishes, Andres