Monthly Archives: May 2009

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

Last week Dominican University hosted a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience for community college sophomores who wanted a week-long assortment laboratory experiences. For my part, we did an analysis of energy drinks. This experiment was adapted from the “caffeine extraction” sophomore organic chemistry laboratory sequence. First, we did a colorimetric array for each of 6 different […]

New Results for the Dehydration of Methylcyclohexanols

This Spring, a research project was performed by one of my Sophomore Organic Chemistry students. The research project was designed to continue investigations into the dehydration of methylcyclohexanols that we explored Fall 2008. I have written several entries for this project, and will likely write several more. In short, the simple dehydration of an alcohol […]

Answer/Question the Questions/Answers

This is a continuation of last week’s entry on how grading (evalution) can be rendered more efficient. How an assignment is to be graded determines what kinds of questions can be asked. For an instructor graded scenario, anything goes from multiple choice to lab-report format to critical thinking design. If a teaching assistant is going […]

I Corrected It Myself

I grade my own students’ lab reports. In truth, I do this because when I started teaching ten years ago, I had about a dozen students in Organic Chemistry. Lately, I have found that assignments and grading methods that I had developed for small class sizes were too labor intensive for larger classes. One common […]

Chemical “Luminol”escence

The synthesis of Luminol is a great final experiment to cap off a year of organic chemistry laboratory work. It’s a relatively “old” experiment, I did it as in undergraduate. (Adapted from Experiment 48: Luminol, in Pavia, Lampman and Kriz, “Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Contemporary Approach” (1976) Saunders.) The procedure involves a two-step […]