In my senior level inorganic lab, I've tried to incorporate full semester research projects. Since I love synthesis, I have tended to assign synthetic projects. Students have learned a lot during these experiences, but there are the obvious challenges of multistep synthetic work in a 3 hour a week lab. I'd like to try to develop projects that are more mechanistic in nature, but am struggling to come up with ideas that are both compelling and achievable. We will be working in lab this spring with social distancing and some restrictions, but should be able to do all the things we normally
I will be teaching our one semester Inorganic course (with lab) in the Spring for the first time. I am working on the lab syllabus and would love to know your must-do/favorite/fail proof (ha) experiments. I've gotten a few good ideas from those posted to the forums, but am interested in hearing about some of the classics on your syllabus as well. What experiment(s) do you do that students get the most out of? What experiment(s) do they enjoy the most? Thanks.
we are redoing our first year laboratory, and want to fix a broken experiment, and add a new one.
1) Vanadium. We have the students make a variety of vanadium compounds and watch the color changes during a variety of redox reactions. I haven't taught this in a while, but I know there is a chemical reduction, bubbling air through it for an oxidation, and then finally reduction with zinc amalgam. We'd like to remove the Zn and Hg from the lab if possible. Does this lab sound familiar to anyone? And do other reducing agents work?
In two weeks, my second semester general chemistry students (majors) will be doing an in house lab on the synthesis and characterization of metal oxalates. We are trying to focus on writing skills and we focus on different parts of a paper. For the synthesis week, I would like to have my students look at papers in the literature (probably Inorg. Chem.) to see how syntheses are written up.