It is important for students to be able to effectively communicate the results of their scientific work. This does not only inlcude written and oral communication, but the creation of appropriate representations of the complexes they have investigated. It is crucial that students learn how to draw molecules using electronic structure drawing programs, but site licenses for structure drawing programs can be prohibitive for some institutions.
All VIPEr learning objects are supposed to include clear student learning goals and a suggested way to assess the learning. This "five slides about" provides a brief introduction to the "Understanding by Design" or "backward design" approach to curriculum development and will help you develop your VIPEr learning object.
In the time of COVID-19, a need for additional PPE in the form of face shields was deemed required for safe laboratory work when in the presence of other students and faculty. An inexpensive method was devised to convert standard laboratory safety goggles into a face shield through the use of commercially available plastic report or presentation covers (sometimes called binding covers). This LO describes the fabrication process along with chemical compatibility and flammability testing of the purchased plastic sheets.
This collection was created to compile the growing number of LOs related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) in chemistry. It will be updated periodically as new LOs are created.
In addition to the LOs listed, here are some other resources on VIPEr that are relevant to DEI.
This Powerpoint presentation was developed to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the chemistry classroom. One of the challenges of modern chemistry (and other modern STEM fields) is that the history discussed in general chemistry textbooks often focuses on achievements by Western scientists. While the most prominent chemists in the area of modern atomic theory were privileged, Western white men, their ideas were influenced by centuries of chemistry practiced by peoples across the globe.
I have taught the book Uncle Tungsten: Memoirs of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks in my Inorganic Chemistry course for juniors and seniors for a decade, but the way I teach the book has dramatically changed in recent years.
The book is a (somewhat nostalgic and bittersweet) recollection of Sacks' childhood and his early experiments in inorganic chemistry, and initially we read it on that basis. However, Sacks also talks (even in the first chapter) about his family's identities as "people who do science" and his identity as a Jewish child in 1940s Britain.
I developed this short class component in response to reading Saundra Yancy McGuire’s book, “Teach Students How to Learn.” One chapter focuses on the importance of mindset, a concept developed by Carole Dweck. Students with a growth mindset believe that they can learn how to learn challenging material, while students with fixed mindsets believe that ability is innate and unchangeable.
One of the features of the laboratory associated with my Inorganic chemistry course is learning to do some air sensitive chemistry using Schlenk lines (and sometimes gloveboxes). Of course, COVID19 is keeping us out of the lab this year! This is a collection of short web based resources (text and video) detailing begining use of a Schlenk line, something about drying and degassing solvents, and transferring liquids to a reaction flask. It is accompanied by questions I am having students answer as part of the alternate lab I am creating in place of our usual organometallic lab experiemnt.
This literature discussion uses a recently published article on solvatochromic Mo complexes to introduce students to the different components of a research article. The activity is divied into to two parts. Before class students read the paper and focus on defining terms, investigating the "meta" data of the paper, and the different sections iof the paper. In class the students work in groups to investigate the scientific content of the paper
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 (doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08824-8).