Open-ended Recrystallization Addition to the Traditional M(acac)3 Laboratory

Submitted by Hilary Eppley / DePauw University on Fri, 04/03/2009 - 10:14

In this open-ended activity, students design crystallizations to can see who can grow the biggest crystals of their colorful products. This addition is something that I add to the standard M(acac)3 syntheses that many of us do as an introductory lab in an upper level course or as a final lab in an introductory type course. Syntheses of the M(acac)3 starting materials are available in most published inorganic laboratory manuals.


Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Wed, 03/11/2009 - 18:53

This is my all time favorite resource for finding out basic information about the elements. I love it. And all of my students do too.

Literature Searching: Understanding Handbooks

Submitted by Meris / James Madison University on Mon, 03/09/2009 - 09:44

To allow students to become familiar with the structure of chemical literature and provide them with an understanding of several types of basic handbooks.

Interactive Spreadsheets for Inorganic Chemistry

Submitted by Lori Watson / Earlham College on Sun, 03/08/2009 - 15:28

This web site contains a number of interactive spreadsheets, most of which are applicable to inorganic chemistry (or a physical chemistry class that uses inorganic examples).  Here's the list of the most relevant for most inorganic classes:


ABC kinetics - interactively plot concentration versus reaction extent for A, B and C in A -> B -> C by varying k values

Polarizing Power of Cations

Submitted by Nancy Williams / Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 20:08

This is a handout which I use in an advanced general chemistry course, but which could be used in an inorganic course as well. It is a mini-periodic table with common cations and their charge to size ratios expressed as Q/r2, where Q is in integer charges (+1, +2), and r is in Angstroms. Conveniently, Na+ is an easy to remember 1.0, and Al3+ and Be2+ are easy to remember values of 10. This corresponds to the polarizing power of these ions, and is a crude proxy for how covalent their interactions with a given anion tend to be.

Citing and Finding Chemical Literature Library Activity

Submitted by Jezmynne / Claremont University Consortium on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 18:45

This assignment will orient new students to searching and finding chemical literature and effectively citing said literature.  The library session focuses on the semantics of the ACS style, overviews appropriate indexing/searching tools, and has students search and find two citations for a future lab assignment for their chemistry class.  

How to Use Delicious Bookmarking on the Web

Submitted by Jezmynne / Claremont University Consortium on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 18:39

Delicious is a social bookmarking tool that retains bookmarks on the web.  Users can access their bookmarks from any computer, and Delicious allows for the tagging of bookmarks with relevant descriptors for follow up, searching, and collaborative work.  

Inorganic Chemistry Just Makes You Want to Sing!

Submitted by Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College on Sat, 12/27/2008 - 19:35

Here is a fun way to learn about inorganic chemistry!  These songs were composed and passed along to me by Tom Mallouk at Penn State with his permission to post here on VIPEr.  I Can't Get No Bragg Diffraction was a joint effort put together one year at a Gordon Research Conference on Solid State Chemistry.  Sorry, no recording!  The tune n-doped, recorded by the Band Edges, covers the electronic structure behind semiconductor devices.  Download the lyrics for both and the mp3 file for n-doped!  There is a

Assessing Chemical Hazards

Submitted by Anne Bentley / Lewis & Clark College on Tue, 10/14/2008 - 20:17

This is a short activity I developed to help my students interpret Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Students rank unknown compounds from least safe to most safe, and the compounds' identities are revealed. The class discusses other factors to consider in evaluating the safety of an experiment. The "MSDS activity" word document contains a more full description.