Unless you've spent the past few days under a rock, grading a pile of exams, or overhauling your institution's general education program, you have probably already heard about the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College's blog
Why do so many chemists fear electrochemistry? Is it because there is no formal home for it in the chemistry curriculum? At any rate, electrochemistry is here to stay, and it’s worth the effort to understand it well. Electron transfer reactions are at the heart of modern energy applications, and electrochemistry is a useful tool for studying mechanistic inorganic chemistry. If our analytical colleagues aren't going to assume the mantle, then it's up to us, the inorganic chemists, to add it to our ever-growing list of topics.
Are you heading to South Bend, IN for the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE)? If so, keep in mind the following opportunities to learn more about VIPEr and swap inorganic stories with other members of the IONiC community.
This past fall, a bumper crop of junior and senior chemistry majors enrolled in my inorganic laboratory course. In fact, we had enough student interest that we had to open a second weekly 4-hour lab section. The combined group of 18 students ran five experiments of my choosing and then spent two weeks at the end of the semester engaged in nine different independent projects. (See my syllabus LO describing the course here.)
The IONiC Leadership Council has recently received a grant from NSF’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. (See related BITEs post here.)
The grant will support three cohorts of twenty faculty who will each develop their own “VIPEr-ized” foundation-level inorganic chemistry course. Through classroom observations, analysis of student work, surveys of students, and interviews with faculty, we will generate data on how changes in the classroom affect student learning.
This week was the first week in the lab for me and my three summer research students. One of my priorities was to think about how to manage three students working on three different projects.
I needed a system that allows the students to track their results and their thoughts about future work while I also contribute my ideas / suggestions for experiments.
For the past two years, students in my advanced inorganic course have prepared a periodic table of cupcakes as part of our campus-wide celebration of student scholarly work. Whether or not making cupcakes qualifies as scholarship is up for debate, but we do incorporate a scholarly component. For more information about this year’s effort, see the learning object about our periodic table trivia contest.
As December rolls along, many VIPEr users will find themselves in charge of proctoring final exams, a task that requires maintaining a balance between vigilance, getting work done, and staying awake. Exams can last up to three hours (someone always uses the entire time) or more. Does anyone have exams set for more than three hours?
To get started, here are a few suggestions for how to survive final exams:
After completing nearly every household task known to humanity, I finally sat down to grade the semester's first batch of inorganic lab reports. One hour later, I had scores assigned to 12 abstracts. And now I find myself procrastinating even further by writing this blog post.
Are you heading to Greeley, CO for the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE)? If so, keep in mind the following opportunities to learn more about VIPEr and swap inorganic stories with other members of the IONiC community.