• 2 Nov 2017

    I'm Tired

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    Let's face it, it's that time in the semester. The students are sick. They are handing in exams and papers and you just want to run them through an autoclave. Throw on top of that all kinds of other work. This week for me has included 3 sections of gen chem exams, reading through approximately 100 abstracts for our sessions at ACS this spring, and reading through about 100 submissions for various on campus funding opportunities for a committee I am on. So, the fact that I need to get a BITeS post together is not making things easier.

  • 17 Oct 2017

    Shedding our skin

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    Every snake sheds its skin at some point and we here at VIPEr are no different. While we are thrilled about our latest NSF grant and excited to continue to grow this community, the leadership council also recognizes that the winds of change are blowing. By the end of this grant we hope to see some changes in the composition of the leadership council that will bring in people with great new ideas. We want to get a start on that process now by inviting members of the community to become more active in the day to day maintainance of the VIPEr website.

  • 26 Sep 2017

    Riding on the City of New Orleans

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    Greetings loyal BITeS readers. It's hard to believe that it is once again time to start planning for our Undergraduate Research at the Frontiers of Inorganic Chemistry oral and poster sessions at the spring ACS meeting. This coming March we return to the place where VIPEr officially launched on the internet, New Orleans. This year my co-organizers are Lori Watson and Chip Nataro, but we all know it is me who does all of the hard work.

  • 18 Sep 2017

    Laying the Foundation

    Submitted by Sheila Smith, University of Michigan- Dearborn

    I'm just starting the third week of my Foundations Inorganic Course, which I like to call GenChem III. This is the course where I tell my science majors the "why?" behind all those pesky Periodic Trends we made them memorize in GenChem. I teach my course pretty heavily focused on bonding and much less on Periodicity. But we do spend some time early on in the course on the orbitals, shielding effects and the repercussions on periodicity.

  • 1 Sep 2017

    The Name Game

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    It's that time of year when there are lots of eager young faces looking at me in my general chemistry lecture. And with those faces comes a long list of names that I have to try and attach to those faces. Of my many faults, perhaps the worst is my ability to remember names. I am very bad at it, especially when I get more than one new name at a time. An additional complication is that I only see these students on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so the long layoff really hurts.

  • 15 Aug 2017

    Papers for Pedagogy

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    About 1 year ago I was invited to attend an editorial board meeting for Organometallics. It was incredibly interesting to be on that side of the discussion and I got a lot out of it. For me, the most significant was the hatching of an exciting new idea about teaching--a virtual issue with a VIPEr theme. I was very excited that the editor-in-chief of the journal, Paul Chirik, was supportive of this idea and I knew that I needed to make this happen quickly.

  • 24 Jul 2017

    Big news!

    Submitted by Flo, Slytherin' State

    I don't like to toot my own horn, but I have some pretty big news to announce to the community. I have just received word from the National Science Foundation that I am receiving a new grant! Oh sure, the leadership council will claim to be responsible for this funding (especially Joanne Stewart, Barb Reisner and Jeff Raker the PI's), but we all really know that I am the one pulling the strings with this whole organizaiton. What does this mean for you, our loyal BITeS readers? Plenty! We have some bold ideas for shaping foundation level inorganic courses. We will be holding more workshops.

  • 17 Jul 2017

    You've come a long way baby, or have you?

    Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

    Going to a Gordon Research Conference, I expected I would come back and write a BITEs post about some of the great chemistry I saw and how I was inspired to do a million different experiments. While that is partly true, the conference proved to be extremely educational in a way I did not expect. It started early in the conference when a tenured faculty member at a research university told a story of how older male colleagues would whistle at her on days she was a bit more fancily dressed.

  • 5 Jul 2017

    POGIL-Type Materials for Inorganic Chemistry

    Submitted by Joseph Keane, Muhlenberg College

    In response to a talk I gave at the Mid-atlantic ACS Regional Meeting, the friendly VIPEr folks asked me to write a BITes about my POGIL-type materials for inorganic chemistry. Very briefly, POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) is an active-learning model intended to supplant traditional lectures. Students work in groups on carefully written materials (“Activities”) that guide them to a more independent development of key concepts and course content.