The two structures shown in the thumbnail show a very small difference in chemical structure; two of the connecting groups are switched around; however, this causes the whole molecule to behave differently. This article shows the importance of knowing even the miniscule differences between two chemicals: Students might struggle with this idea because in many other subjects, a little error might not do too much in the long-run. But in chemistry, with one little mistake, side-effects could be disastorous.
This article gives a real-life scenario where a mistake in chemical structure produced risk of harm for treatment of cancer patients. Students may be shown this article during a lesson on molecular structure to illustrate the importance of knowing the exact structure of a molecule, not just a general idea.
The actual source that this article comes from is a comic site that students may have already seen before, which could generate some interest. When speaking about molar amounts, it is often hard to conceptualize and visualize exactly the amount these volumes are. Especially when learning about Avogardro's number and how it relates to moles, these amounts are incredibly huge, but since these are mentioned in a chemistry setting, students may often imagine these amounts as small. For example, if I were to say that I have a mol of humans, students may think that I might not be talking about too many humans; in fact, I'm talking about 6.02e23 amount of humans!
This article can be used when learning about Avogadro's number. This article is definitely useful in the sense that it gives students an understanding of the breadth of this amount in a fun and engaging way. Students can connect exactly how small molecules are; though a mol of a molecule might amount to something that takes up very little space, a mol of something bigger might be impossible to fit on the Earth!
Physicists devise a way to directly observe the orbitals of a molecule
Brian Leung's insight:
It is often hard to visualize what molecular orbitals look like; most of the time, the only idea that is given about what they look like are from drawn representations. With the advancement of technology, these orbitals can now be viewed, with their quantum energy levels showing separation, as well.
Teachers can use this for two lessons that I specifically have in mind: First, this article can be used when students are learning about molecular orbitals, their shapes, and their properties (such as electron residence, attractions and repulsions, etc.) Second, this article can be used to show the advancement of scientific technology: Before, having a microscope so powerful that it could see molecular orbitals seemed out of reach. Now we can; how much further can technology advance?
Chemistry is mind-numbingly boring to most of us. We're about to change some minds on the subject though.
Brian Leung's insight:
This is an article about certain chemistry reactions that are interesting and cause effects that aren't normally seen. Students would probably be interested in seeing things like this to help pique their interest in chemistry. Some of these can even be done in a classroom, with the proper protection.
A way that this article could be used is to have students read it, just so they can discover the incredible things that can be done with the knowledge of chemistry. Like mentioned above, this could help students become more interested in chemistry and not think of the subject as just work to be done. Also, some of these things within the article can be used as experiments for the students to do.
There is a wonderful story in physics, with a rich history, that begins with this question: What is the biggest possible atomic number? In other words, where does the periodic table end? We (as a...
Brian Leung's insight:
When speaking about the intricacies of the periodic table, students may often wonder how there could be so many elements, as well as if the elements being added to the periodic table may continue indefinitely. This is quite a tough question to answer, but this article provides useful insight into answering that question.
This article could be used when students are learning about the periodic table. When questions about the limitations of the atoms and the periodic table length come into play, this article can answer these questions, as well as provide concepts and information that support why.
In a chemistry class, labwork is an essential. Because students are spending much time in their lab stations and performing experiments, there is an increased chance of safey issues and dangers happening than in a regular classroom. Students need to know that chemistry, although interesting with all the chemical reactions possible, needs to be taken with precaution. Teachers need to be able to find some way to help students truly understand that.
This article is entertaining; however, the main idea of the article is very clear: Do not mess with chemicals that you do not fully comprehend! The critiques on a mainstream website that encouraged the drinking of hazardous chemicals for a prank is insightful, yet entertaining at the same time. This article can help students understand the dangers of improper handling of chemicals without boring them.
Chemistry is everywhere in the world around us - so why are we so scared of it, asks Dr Mark Lorch.
Brian Leung's insight:
Though not everyone may share the same viewpoint as the article posted, this article is good in the sense that it addresses misconceptions that students may have about chemistry before entering the classroom. This might be good for teachers because, first of all, it raises awareness to an issue that students may have with learning chemistry. Also, it can be a vital learning tool.
This article could be assigned at the beginning of the year when students are still trying to learn what chemistry is as a subject. Giving an article like this to read would help students think about the concepts and ideas of chemistry, as well as dispelling negative pre-conceptions already made about the subject. This would help create an unbiased, positive outlook on chemistry before the actual material is studied.
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