Much has changed in the last 50 years, both with Chem 13 News, and the views of chemists. The following quotes were taken from the first year of publication, and definitely highlight the commonly accepted views of women in STEM at the time.
Doug De La Matter used the following story to explain the ideas of chromatography to his grade 9 science classes. They seem to understand the concepts so well that it becomes a useful reference when we talk about solubility and intermolecular forces again in senior chemistry classes. I present it as a fable and embellish it with lots of spurious details.
A reprint from 1993 -- Gary Marcoux started this class with “Does anybody know what I have in this flask?” The students shuffle their feet and glance at each other, trying to see if anybody’s taking notes. “You know, I could have anything in here, anything at all”, I continue while holding up the flask. “This could be Aladdin’s Lamp.
I do the "egg experiment" in the third week of school; it follows activities involving the operation of the balance, the precision of volumetric equipment, methods for the determination of volume and the uncertainty of measurement. The experiment is to collect enough data to verify or refute the statement that "the density of a whole chicken egg is equal to the arithmetic mean of its parts — the yolk, the white, and the shell".
After I introduce moles to my chemistry class, I set out a display on a shelf that students see when they enter the room. The display is titled: SEE AND TOUCH A MOLE. It consists of samples of preweighed molar masses of about four elements and four compounds.
To try and get my classes to appreciate the contributions made by famous scientists to their field, I suggest that they invite several scientists (living or dead!) to address them, and the replies which they may like to add to the list.
Ever notice how some element names contain within them the symbols for other elements? “Potassium”, for example, contains “Si”, silicon, plus about eight others. Well, now you’ve noticed it…and you’ll need to think this way to solve the following puzzle, for you must string elements together in a sort of chemical stream of consciousness.
To invert a test tube (or bottle, etc.) filled with water into a beaker of water, place a piece of filter paper on top of the brim-full tube, wait until the water has soaked into the paper enough to hold it on, then invert the tube and insert it into the beaker at an angle slightly off-vertical. Once the tube mouth is under water, the paper will float off.
One of the most memorable articles we ever carried in Chem 13 News was Ken Woolner’s short biography of Claude Émile Jean-Baptiste Litre. We reprint it here, complete with introduction, illustrations and final Editors’ note as it appeared in our April 1978 issue.
Since 1968, the University of Waterloo’s Chem 13 News magazine has provided a continuous resource to teachers of introductory chemistry worldwide. From its inception, Chem 13 News has played a lead role in developing passionate and concerned educators who inspire and groom the scientific leaders of tomorrow.
Editor’s note: This puzzle was created by Gerry Toogood who still challenges readers with his crostic puzzles today. Be warned, this 50-year old puzzle is much more difficult (in our opinion) than Gerry’s current day crostics.
Make an agar-agar gel by heating 300 mL of water to a boil. Stop heating. Stir into the water 2 g of powdered agar-agar. While the gel is still hot, have some Petri dishes ready. Place a straight nail and a bent nail in a Petri dish.
From 1948-1967 in order to pass high school chemistry, your grade was based solely on the province-wide exam. What did Ontario high school chemistry students need to know 60 years ago? On the next two pages check out a scan of one of the original final exams. It is a booklet of four small pages. Students were not given a periodic table and hand-held (pocket) calculators would not be around for another decade.
In the 1970s and ’80s Chem 13 News had a long-running question and answer series. The questions were numbered and printed in the magazine and readers were asked to help answer questions. This is a reprint of one question, which was answered by several readers.
In the 1970s and ’80s Chem 13 News had a long-running question and answer series. The questions were numbered and printed in the magazine and readers were asked to help answer questions. This was before a Google Search. There were about 250 questions asked — most answered by several readers.
Has teaching chemistry changed in the last 35 years? This December 1980 article in Chem 13 News describes how a teacher begins his school year. We would be interested to hear readers’ reactions to this 35-year old approach to a chemistry class. It certainly sounds like guided inquiry was at work.
Organic chemistry is enough to drive
one mad! It is like a tropical forest,
filled with the most peculiar things,
dense, endless, impossible to find
one’s way out of, a place which one
should avoid entering.
“Solving a Chemical Problem” is a laboratory exercise in Exercises and Experiments in Chemistry by Metcalfe Williams and Castka (1978). It is an exercise in the testing of unknown solutions in a systematic manner.