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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 4 Issue 6 (1999) pp 214-218

Teaching Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry Through the "Chemical of the Week"

Terrance B. Murphy

Department of Chemistry, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 36, Al- Khod 123, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Published online: 1 December 1999

Abstract. Many general chemistry courses spend little time on descriptive inorganic chemistry. An approach used, which has met with considerable interest by students, is to select a different chemical each week as the Chemical of the Week. A 15 minutes presentation of this chemical is given at the end of the last lecture of the week. Compounds are chosen which appeal to students based on health, environmental, or current media interest. The chemicals discussed, in order, are ozone, Freons, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, ammonia, nitric acid, phosphoric acid, lead, mercury, and cisplatin. The presentations are arranged so that later chemicals build on information from earlier chemicals. Each presentation usually follows a general format of the chemicalís synthesis, its environmental impact, practical applications, and personal relevance. Details of each presentation are given.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; descriptive chemistry; general chemistry; chemical education; inorganic chemistry; environmental chemistry; main-group elements; bioinorganic chemistry

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Issue date: December 1, 1999

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