Department of Chemistry
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I have found the recent opinion pieces by Michael Jansen to be very thought provoking, particularly “Chemistry: It’s not fun” (page 3, October issue) and the letters in response (pages 8 - 9, December/January issue). If fun here is taken to mean a very undemanding curriculum without sufficient rigor to support understanding and further study of chemistry, then no doubt the readers of Chem 13 News will be unanimous in agreeing with Michael Jansen.
In Grade 11 chemistry, I teach atomic orbitals as part of a bigger lesson on electron configuration. This is super great — students gain insight into why the periodic table looks like it does: s-block, p-block, d-block, f-block.
As chemical educators, we are always thinking of potential hazards in the chemistry laboratory. But it is easy to overlook potential hazards elsewhere in our lives and in the lives of our students.
An aluminum can is not just made of aluminum, but it is lined with a plastic film to prevent oxidation of the inside surface by any acid in the soft drink’s contents. In the experiment, by oxidizing the aluminum from the outside, the intact plastic lining can be seen.