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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 15 (2010) pp 398-400

Continued Misconception Concerning Bond Breaking and Making

Samantha Evans and Ronny Priefer*

Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics, Niagara University, Niagara University, NY 14109, USA
Received August 7, 2010. Accepted September 2, 2010

Published: 16 December 2010

Abstract. Bond breaking and making is a basic concept that many science instructors may presume students would know and understand before entering an upper level or college chemistry or biology course. Past research has shown that students are often misinformed, specifically about “high energy” phosphate bonds in ATP. Further research has revealed that these misconceptions have an underlying fault in students’ understanding, which can be attributed to their failure to know the mechanics of bonds being broken and formed in addition to energy concepts and products. This deceptive information will continue to affect students’ knowledge of other concepts and is crucial that this incorrect thinking is corrected. We have designed an interactive web-based survey that guides the students to the correct conclusion. Initially, only 26% of the students chose the correct answer to a multiple choice question concerning ATP hydrolysis. Upon completion of the ~5 minute survey this shot up to 77%, suggesting that this approach was successful for correcting a common misconception concerning bond breaking.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; biochemistry

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