VIPEr BITeS

  • 31 Mar 2014

    Organometallic reactions via student skits

    Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College

    I’m a big fan of getting students up out of their chairs and moving around during lecture.  I’m not altogether convinced they learn concepts we act out better than ones we don’t, but they sure enjoy it more!  This week in my Inorganic course we were doing a quick overview of organometallic reaction types and catalytic cycles.  It was a particularly cold, grey, rainy day and a number of my students were all pretty tired from studying for their Senior Comprehensive exams.  They were supposed to have read all about different organometallic reactions from their text, but it was clear in about 2

  • 23 Mar 2014

    DIC opportunities

    Submitted by Stephen Koch, SUNY Stony Brook

    Thanks to the undergraduate inorganic community for another very successful symposium in the Inorganic division at the ACS meeting.  I have a request.  If you are going to be at a national ACS meeting and would like to chair a session, please email 

  • 12 Mar 2014

    Hanging out with group theory

    Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

    Six group theory enthusiasts met in cyberspace in February to share our passion for the subject and compare notes about our approaches to teaching it.  The courses taught by attendees ranged, predictably, from sophomore level to graduate.  Advice and examples flew in all directions.  Favorite textbooks included Carter (https://www.ionicviper.org/textbook/molecular-symmetry-and-group-theory-robert-l-carter), Harris & Bertolucci (needs a review, not recommended for MO theory), and Hargitt

  • 8 Mar 2014

    Remembering where my students are

    Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University

    I’m teaching the first semester of inorganic chemistry for the first time in nearly 10 years. I’d forgotten how much fun this class is! In that amount of time, I also have forgotten where my students are…

  • 7 Mar 2014

    Intersecting Chemistry and Art

    Submitted by Elizabeth Jamieson, Smith College

    This semester I’m co-teaching our CHM 100:  Chemistry of Art Objects course for the first time.  This class is designed for non-majors and is co-taught with David Dempsey, the Associate Director for Museum Services at the Smith College Museum of Art.  We have 15 students in the class; many of them are not science majors and have little to no chemistry background.  My role is to teach the essential chemical concepts, while David focuses on the application of chemistry in art materials.

  • 27 Feb 2014

    A Game with Orbital Cutouts

    Submitted by Nancy Scott Burke Williams, Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College

    So, I've just tried something for the first time in our AISS course (Accelerated Integrated Science Sequence) to teach the idea of bonding overlap, andtibonding overlap, and orthogonal (non-bonding) interactions. 

  • 21 Feb 2014

    Dallas announcement

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    Howdy y'all. Flo here. I am busy getting all set for the upcoming ACS meeting in Dallas. During the meeting we will be celebrating that most evil of holidays, St. Patrick's Day. Celebrating the person that drove my ancestors from Ireland just sends shivers down my spine (a very serious thing for a snake). So while you partake in a day of revelry, I will be holding a quiet vigil in honor of all things serpentine.

  • 12 Feb 2014

    Sophomore symmetry

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    This spring I am doing something new in my sophomore inorganic class. Before I go into detail, a little background is needed. This class has a fairly academically diverse population. The prerequisite for the course is General Chemistry II. I have senior biochemistry majors that have had two semesters of P-chem as well as first year students that have only had General Chemistry II. I also have a fairly high population of chemical engineering majors. As I said, academically diverse.

  • 3 Feb 2014

    See you at BCCE!

    Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College

    Flo wants to see you at BCCE!

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