Lori Watson, Earlham College's blog

16 Aug 2014

Food for Thought

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College

This fall is going to be different!  In addition to my regular General Chemistry course, I’ll be teaching a new course in my college’s recently redesigned first year seminar program--Food for Thought: The Chemistry of Cooking.  I’m both incredibly excited about this course, and pretty nervous.  I’m excited because it’s not too often (at least at a small college with the usual staffing challenges) that you are handed a blank page and told “teach (almost) anything you want!” I’ve wanted to teach a chemistry of cooking course for a long time, and luckily many others in the chemistry community

20 Jun 2014

Summer WebMO fun!

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College

This summer, as I worked with four brand new research students on two different synthetic and computational research projects, I was again reminded how easy WebMO makes doing computational chemistry.  WebMO is an inexpensive (free for the basic version) graphical user interface that can be plumbed to a variety of computational packages.

31 Mar 2014

Organometallic reactions via student skits

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College

I’m a big fan of getting students up out of their chairs and moving around during lecture.  I’m not altogether convinced they learn concepts we act out better than ones we don’t, but they sure enjoy it more!  This week in my Inorganic course we were doing a quick overview of organometallic reaction types and catalytic cycles.  It was a particularly cold, grey, rainy day and a number of my students were all pretty tired from studying for their Senior Comprehensive exams.  They were supposed to have read all about different organometallic reactions from their text, but it was clear in about 2

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