Lewis Structure Challenge

Submitted by David Laviska / Seton Hall University on Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:24

This in-class activity is designed to give general chemistry students practice with drawing Lewis structures. Small groups of 3-5 students compete for points by creating hypothetical molecules that meet criteria (numbers of elements and atoms) assigned by the professor. Beginning with simple molecules, the basic challenge format calls for increasingly complex criteria in successive rounds of competition. One optional variation also allows student groups to challenge each other for bonus points.

The Orbitron

Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Wed, 06/10/2015 - 12:06

Do you want to show your students beautiful illustrations of atomic orbitals? My favorite place to go is the Orbitron, Mark Winter's gallery of AOs and MOs on the web. Not only can you see images, but you can link to different representations of the wave functions and electron density functions.

Flash is required for this site.

Web Resources from the 2013 Inorganic Curriculum Survey

Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Wed, 06/10/2015 - 10:49


In the 2013 Inorganic Curriculum Survey, respondents were asked about the resources they used when they teach inorganic chemistry. About 20% of respondents selected "other" and provided information about these resources. A number of people mentioned specific websites. This collection consists of the websites submitted in the survey.

Periodically Periodic

Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 08:50

I like having students look at data and then explain data based on what they know about periodic trends. This activity uses the data we all use for radii and ionization energies and asks students to look just a little bit deeper. 

I have gone back and forth between using this as an in class activity (my current practice) and using some of these questions on exams. 

Literature Discussion of Hexamminecobalt(III) – Probing Metal Ion Binding Sites in Nucleic Acids by NMR Spectroscopy

Submitted by EGunn / Simmons College on Tue, 12/09/2014 - 13:56

I use this literature discussion in my second year inorganic class as a follow-up to a lab experiment where students synthesize Werner complexes and then (with much guidance) analyze their IR spectra using symmetry and group theory arguments. This paper provides an excellent example of how cobalt complexes are used in modern applications, and serves as a bridge to bioinorganic chemistry, which is a central feature later in the course.

Maggie's LOs

Submitted by Chip Nataro / Lafayette College on Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:25

A Living Syllabus for Sophomore Level Inorganic Chemistry

Submitted by Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn on Mon, 08/04/2014 - 16:02

In my sophomore level inorganic course, I have experimented with the idea of a living syllabus as a way to develop my own specific learning objectives and to help the students connect the material to the tasks that will be expected of them in assessing their learning. 

Literature Discussion of "Mechanisms Controlling the Cellular Metal Economy"

This is a literature discussion of a review by Tom O'Halloran (The link to the paper is included in the "Web Resources" below). The review covers concepts of metal content in cells, metal trasport, storage, and regulation. Its a good review to start a broader or deeper discussion about metals in biology. We have provided some questions to help guide the student discussion. These questions can be given to students prior to coming to class, and the answers can either be used for the in-class discussion and/or collected. 

Kyle Grice / DePaul University Thu, 07/17/2014 - 15:07

Cadmium Carbonic Anhydrase (CdCA): Sustaining Life Using a Toxic Metal Ion

Submitted by Peter Craig / McDaniel College on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 01:18

The Diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii is very resilient.  It thrives in poor quality water, where high CO2 levels, chlorine and cadmium ion concentrations, and pH are observed.  How is it possible for cadmium ions to be a nutrient for this diatom, when it is normally seen as a toxin in biological systems?

This LO introduces students to bioinorganic chemistry using the enzyme carbonic anhydrase to illustrate biodiversity, adaptation, HASB theory, metal ion ligand bonding as represented by the PDB using Ligand Explorer, and more.