Visualization of Solid State Structures using CrystalMaker and Physical Models

Submitted by Hilary Eppley / DePauw University on Wed, 01/08/2020 - 14:17

This first-year laboratory is designed to give students an introduction to basic solid-state structures using both CrystalMaker files and physical models. I think this would work in a foundations level inorganic course as well. It could be used alternatively as an in-class activity or take-home problem set depending on the instructor. It was adapted by me and later, David Harvey, from an original activity that was posted as an educational resource on the CrystalMaker website in the mid 2000s.  

Reaction Mechanisms: Energy Profiles and Catalysts

Submitted by Wes Farrell / United States Naval Academy on Thu, 01/02/2020 - 13:44

This in class activity consists of two demonstrations to be performed by the instructor, followed by a worksheet that students may work on independently or in groups.  The demonstrations allow the students to determine when a reaction has occured, when it has not occured, and generate qualitative reaction energy profiles to match these observations.  This activity is designed to take place during a description of kinetics in general chemistry. Detailed descriptions of the procedure and activity may be found in the "Overview for Instructor."

Mechanisms of Mn-catalyzed water oxidation reactions

Submitted by Margaret Scheuermann / Western Washington University on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 19:53

This LO is an in-class assignment to prepare students for literature readings involving catalytic cycles in which multiple protons and electrons are transferred. Two catalytic mechanisms, a proposed OEC mechanism and the proposed mechanism of a biomimetic OEC complexes are included. The intermediates are drawn including all charges and oxidation states, details which are sometimes omitted in the primary literature but can be helpful to students who are not accustomed to looking at multistep catalytic cycles.

2019 Nobel Prize - Li-ion battery LOs

Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Wed, 10/09/2019 - 20:28

Congratulations to the 2019 recipients of the Nobel Prize - John B. Goodenough, M. Stan Whittingham and Akira Yoshino. It's a well deserved honor!

There are several LOs on VIPEr that talk about lithium ion batteries and related systems. The 2019 Nobel is a great opportunity to include something about these batteries in your class.

I hope to see more LOs in the coming weeks so we can bring this chemistry into our classrooms!

1FLO: One Figure Learning Objects Chip Nataro / Lafayette College Thu, 07/25/2019 - 13:15

Science Information Literacy Badge--Reading the Literature

Submitted by Michelle Personick / Wesleyan University on Thu, 07/18/2019 - 12:07

This is an activity designed to introduce general chemistry students to reading the chemistry literature by familiarizing them with the structure of a published article. The activity first presents an article from the Whitesides group at Harvard about writing a scientific manuscript, along with a video about the peer-review process. There are two parts to the questions in the activity, which are based on a specific article from Nature Communications (

Constructing a Class Acid-Base Titration Curve

Submitted by Nicole Crowder / University of Mary Washington on Tue, 07/09/2019 - 17:15

In this in-class activity, each student calculates the inital pH, equivalence volume, and pH at the equivalence point for both a strong acid-strong base and a weak acid-strong base titration.

In addition, each student is assigned a unique volume before the equivalence point and a unique volume after the equivalence point for each titration curve.

The data from the class is then assembled in Excel to construct the two titration curves.

An improved method for drawing the bonding MO for dihydrogen

Submitted by Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College on Sun, 06/09/2019 - 14:42
Most of us have probably been there. Discussing homonuclear diatomic MO diagrams and on the first day you want to put up the sigma bonding molecular orbital for H2. If you teach it like me, you emphasize the LCAO-MO approach, so you draw a hydrogen atom with its 1s orbital interacting with a hydrogen atom with its 1s orbital...and then you notice giggling from the less mature audience members. My technique will help to prevent this from happening. The technique is in the "faculty only" files section.
Principles of Chemistry II

This second semester general chemistry course is a continuation of the Principles of Chemistry sequence that is recommended for science students. The focus of the course is the fundamentals of structure and bonding, with an emphasis on predicting reactivity.

Michelle Personick / Wesleyan University Sun, 06/09/2019 - 08:54