Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College's blog

5 Jan 2019

Don’t Duck Electrochemistry

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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.


23 Jan 2018

Label Training for Students

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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.)

9 Nov 2017

Come join us for The Grand Experiment

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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.

26 May 2017

Managing the Research Enterprise

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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. 

28 Apr 2017

Community Building with Cupcakes

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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.

9 Dec 2016

How do you keep busy during final exams?

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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:

3 Oct 2016

Lab Report Grading

Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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.

25 Jul 2016


Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

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.


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