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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 8 Issue 4 (2003) pp 266-270

Discovery Learning in General Chemistry Enhanced by Dynamic and Interactive Computer Visualization

Scott A. Sinex* and Barbara A. Gage

Department of Physical Sciences, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD 20774-2199,
Received February 12, 2003. Accepted June 28, 2003.

Published online: 18 July 2003

Abstract. The challenge for the college chemistry classroom today is to teach for conceptual understanding, not merely memorization or algorithm application, through active engagement of students. Educational technologies have the potential to enhance the concept-acquisition process and help create an active-learning environment. Infusion of mathematics and mathematical modeling can occur through the utilization of the graphing calculator, spreadsheets, and modeling software such as STELLA. An understanding of the particulate, dynamic, and electronic nature of atoms and molecules is achieved by employing visualization applications such as Chime and NetLogo and numerous animations available through the Internet. Examples of many classroom-tested materials for illustrating the various applications are presented.

Key Words:  Computers in Chemistry; general chemistry; guided inquiry; visualization

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (864 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:


Supporting Materials:

Animated PowerPoint slide. (AVI movie 463 KB) (

Issue date: August 1, 2003

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