VIPEr BITeS

  • 27 Jun 2017

    Technology for research?

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    We're right in the midst of summer research season and around the chemistry department at Lafayette that can only mean one thing, video scavenger hunt time. As a department we try and do one fun event a week with the students. That can be things like a movie, mini-golf, bowling, etc. 14 years ago I came up with the idea of creating a photo scavenger hunt for the students and it was quite a hit. This morphed into a video scavenger hunt 11 years ago. From its humble beginnings it has grown quite significantly.

  • 20 Jun 2017

    Appendix 9 - Scientific Writing Tips from Professor Johnson

    Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

    My inorganic chemistry lab manual has all sorts of policies, procedures, experimental instructions, and examples of what to do in the lab and for the writeups. My manual is quite specific in how I want lab reports to appear, and what I want in them. For example, I want a reaction scheme, a reagent table, an evaluation of possible characterization methods (with limited time, which methods are the best to do first?), a detailed experimental section and a complete, open-ended, discussion that analyzes the data from their synthetic reaction.

  • 5 Jun 2017

    Good MARMing, Hershey!

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State
    I've been on the road since Thursday, doing what VIPErs do best. My first stop was at Franklin & Marshall College to see old friends like Kate Plass and meet some new friends at a mini-workshop on developing literature discussions. It was a pretty intense 40 hours but well worth it. Look out for 10 new learning objects on 5 primary research articles concerning solids & materials and interesting bonding to appear as new content soon, just in time for you to incorporate into your fall inorganic course.
  • 31 May 2017

    Inorganic Chemistry NOT a Trainwreck, 2017!!

    Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

    If you recall, I was very concerned back in January that my inorganic chemistry course was going off the rails. Flo has invited me to give a follow-up report on why I don’t think the class was a trainwreck after all.

  • 26 May 2017

    Managing the Research Enterprise

    Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

    This week was the first week in the lab for me and my three summer research students. One of my priorities was to think about how to manage three students working on three different projects. 

    I needed a system that allows the students to track their results and their thoughts about future work while I also contribute my ideas / suggestions for experiments. 

  • 28 Apr 2017

    Community Building with Cupcakes

    Submitted by Anne Bentley, Lewis & Clark College

    For the past two years, students in my advanced inorganic course have prepared a periodic table of cupcakes as part of our campus-wide celebration of student scholarly work.  Whether or not making cupcakes qualifies as scholarship is up for debate, but we do incorporate a scholarly component. For more information about this year’s effort, see the learning object about our periodic table trivia contest.

  • 14 Apr 2017

    Symmetry Challenge -- 2017 recap!

    Submitted by Adam R. Johnson, Harvey Mudd College

    The 2017 Symmetry challenge has come and gone and I wanted to give a big thank you to all the participants. In the end there were 12 intrepid scholars who contributed their symmetrized objects to the challenge, from three schools. Sadly, I have to report that no one from my class submitted the challenge. Perhaps the stakes were too low... er... should I say the "snakes" were too low?

  • 12 Apr 2017

    Best ACS swag EVER!

    Submitted by Sheila Smith, University of Michigan- Dearborn

    So... I love to work the Expo at an ACS meeting.  I usually pick up T-shirts and hats for students and indelible ink pens for the lab...Notepads and Magnets and Stickers...OH MY!

  • 12 Apr 2017

    I left my sanity in San Francisco

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    As usual, it was an exciting and exhausting ACS meeting. Our sessions were good. The poster session seemed to be pretty well attended, but I admit, it was hard to judge that based on the location of our posters. For the second straight year I had hotel issues; last year it was a power outage and this year an evacuation due to the fire alarm going off. We had an excellent social gathering at the Pin-Up thanks to Anne Bentley. I even got to sneak off to Oakland to see an Angels-A's game.

  • 24 Mar 2017

    I was looking forward to the ACS meeting until...

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    You may have seen my Tweet about looking forward to the announcment of the most read author of 2016. I really am! Hopefully it will be a friend of VIPEr. And I am really excited about our sessions which will all be held in room 2016 in the Moscone Center. We start off Sunday morning at 9 am with eight talks in the coordination chemistry session. This will be followed at 1:30 by nine talks in the organometallic chemistry session. That wraps up at 4:45 pm and I'll have to slither pretty quickly to Hall D for the poster session from 5:30-7:30 pm.

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