Inside March 2016

  • White flame in bowl.

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    Insoluble… I think not

    “Like dissolves like” is a more-than-decent guideline, but it’s not gospel truth. If you’ve taught solubility equilibria and Ksp, you know that even the most insoluble compound has some teeny, tiny, yet finite solubility.

    Category: Pedagogy, opinion and advice Editorials
  • Penny floating on liquid.

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    Extra yardage out of the floating penny

    I do demos not only to spice up my Honors Chemistry classes but to help my students make connections between the macroscopic and microscopic worlds of chemistry and ultimately, to help them achieve a deeper understanding of a principle. The problem is that my students view demos, first and foremost, as entertainment; in fact, oftentimes they get so caught up in the wow-factor that they miss the educational connections I’m trying to make.

    Category: Feature Activities Classroom
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  • colourful plastic eggs in an Easter basket

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    Easter solutions

    When discussing ionic solutions, it is common for a student to ask: “How do you know how many particles an ionic compound breaks into when dissolved in water?” Students find the concept of having 1 mole of NaCl in solution, resulting in 2 moles of ions — Na+ and Cl- — difficult.

    Category: Feature Activities Themed and special days