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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 10 Issue 6 (2005) pp 427-429

An Introduction to the General Chemistry Laboratory that Makes a Lasting Impression Concerning Laboratory Safety

Daniel A. Burgard

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208,
Received June 27, 2005. Accepted September 26, 2005.

Published online: 18 October 2005

Abstract. This is a laboratory experiment designed for the introductory chemistry student in a new laboratory environment. The steps can be amended to suit any laboratory’s equipment but it originally was designed for first-semester college freshman general chemistry, has since been used in a college-preparatory high school laboratory, and is scheduled to be used in a sophomore-level analytical course. Any glassware needed throughout the class will be introduced and techniques explained. In its current version, students would be introduced to techniques involving beakers, Erlenmeyer flasks, analytical balances, graduated cylinders, pipets, burets, titrations, volumetric flasks, and spectrophotometers. The student begins with an odd, orange-colored powder that turns greenish in solution, cloudy when acid is added, and unknowingly, sticks quite well to skin if given the opportunity. When the student is finished and has cleaned up, most are surprised to find that their hands (face, ears, nostrils, etc.) glow when their laboratory instructor shines a long-wave ultraviolet “black light” on them.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; laboratory instruction; laboratory technique; safety; experiential learning; fluorescein

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (219 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:


Supporting Materials:

The student laboratory handout as well as instructor notes are available in a Zip file. (156 KB)

Issue date: December 1, 2005

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