Monthly Archives: February 2008

Week 6: Two Student Developed Experiments

Oxidation of Cinnamyl Alcohol using Pyridinium Chlorochromate: 1)      Source(s) Experiment #14 in Mohrig, J. R. “Modern projects and experiments in organic chemistry: Miniscale and standard taper microscale.” (2003) New York; Basingstoke: W.H. Freeman; Palgrave Macmillan. 2)      Changes to published procedure ○We did not visualize the TLC with p-anisaldehyde. ○We did not pre-mix the PCC, NaOAc, […]

Seeing the invisible

Chemistry is the art of seeing what is invisible. Many students came up to me or the laboratory aide and pronounced that their spice steam distillation had produced “nothing.” What they meant was they could not detect anything in their beaker with their eyesight. Their noses, however, could detect the odor of their essential oil. […]

Steam Distillation of Spices

Week 5: This week we took a break from our Peer Developed Peer Lab experiment project in order for the students to firm up the final copies of their experiment handouts and webpages. We did the “Steam Distillation of Spices” experiment this week. It may be better described a “hydrodistillation” rather than steam distillation since […]

Why do we repeat experiments?

Don’t Repeat Yourself, “DRY” may be central tenet of computer programming doctrine, but is it not part of the chemist’s credo. Scientists spend a significant amount of time repeating procedures and even experiments in the quest to push back the frontiers of human knowledge. If we want to create and discover new knowledge, why do […]

Week 4:

This week, most of the seven groups repeated their experiment. For a couple, this week was the first time their experiment yielded acceptable results. For others, they had a chance to fine-tune already acceptable experimental results from Week 3. Several groups adjusted the scale of their experiment. We are working with “macroscale” glassware. Working with […]

Why do we do Sophomore Organic Chemistry Labs?

Traditionally course laboratories are designed to reinforce and complement classroom instruction at the same time that students acquire laboratory skills commensurate with their level. In Sophomore Organic Chemistry (SOC) concepts taught in the lecture sections usually have to do with reaction chemistry and spectroscopic techniques such as ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis), Infrared (IR), and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance […]


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