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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 011-013

Utilizing Smart Devices as Eductional Tools to Study First Order Substitution Reactions of tert-butyl Halides in the Classroom Setting

Emily R. Vogel, Maureen E. Smith, Douglas S. Masterson*

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive, Box 5043, Hattiesburg, MS, 39406,
Received September 23, 2013. Accepted October 15, 2013.

Published: 7 January 2014

Abstract. The use of tablets and smart phone devices was incorporated into the organic chemistry lecture as a tool to engage students and extend learning beyond the classroom. Students were asked to video a demonstration in class studying the effects of chlorine and bromine leaving groups in the reaction of tert-butyl halides with water. This classic demonstration required only five minutes of lecture time and their recorded videos were used to derive the apparent rates of each reaction in a project outside of class.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; lecture demonstration; tablets; first order substitution reactions; leaving group effects

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (41 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The synthesis of tert-butyl bromide, solution preparations, and experimental hazards for this demonstration are available in the supporting materials section. A supplemental demonstration was recorded for the purpose of this manuscript and contains an annotated time-lapse caption [10] of the hydrolysis reactions (20.5 MB).

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