Chemistry Blog

Category Archive: chemical education

May 21

My Extra Credit Assignment: Turn a General Chemistry Topic into a Science Museum Exhibit


When traveling, I always make a point to explore local science museums. I look for engaging exhibits that explain scientific concepts in informative and fun ways. One such exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota asks participants to create carbon nanotubes using foam connectors. A few friends and I used our advanced degrees to produce …

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May 19

A tale of a tired lecture course. Flip it.


Tweet Follow @Sci_ents It dawned on me that no one cared. The proteins that I found so fascinating just didn’t seem to intrigue them as much as they did me. I thought the video of water molecules flipping as they passed through the channel of aquaporin was marvellous. But it hardly gleaned a reaction from …

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Nov 10

How LCDs work


A little video I put together to explain how liquid crystal displays work, using pasta, stair gates, wool, a hair dryer and some polarizing filters.

Sep 26

The Minecraft Chemistry Challenge


Minecraft is an truly awesome game. Think of it as digital lego set in a infinitely explorable world. But its real draw is that is encourages creativity on so many level. Players can build what they like, but also the code is open source, allowing creative coders to fiddle with rules and resources in the game. The …

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Feb 10

The Blogversation Continues: A New Approach to the Fear of Chemicals and for a Course of Action


This post is part of an on-going dialogue between chemists on Twitter in an effort to unite the chemistry community do something about negative portrayal of chemicals in a positive and productive manner. I responded to Renee Webster’s kick off post and we’ve gotten a lot of excellent feedback both on Twitter and from bloggers. I’d like to respond to all …

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Nov 09

Rethinking the Jablonski Diagram


I am teaching a course titled “Spectroscopic Characterization of Molecules, Materials and Photovoltaics.” The first few lectures were on molecular photophysics and included a thorough introduction of the Jablonski Diagram (For anyone interested, my lecture ppt slides are available here). The Jablonski diagram, first introduced by Aleksander Jabłoński in 1933, is a graphical depiction of …

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