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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 23 (2018) pp 227-230

Connecting Literature, Lecture and Lab: A Literature-based Laboratory Experience for Organic Chemistry Students

Sylvia S. Bridges, David R. Goode, and Adam M. Kiefer*

Department of Chemistry, Mercer University, 1501 Mercer University Dr., Macon, GA 31207,
Received September 4, 2018. Accepted October 5, 2018.

Published: 30 October 2018

Abstract. A student’s introduction to the peer-reviewed scientific literature is an important step in their development as a scientist and a citizen. However, many students are only introduced to the literature in upper-level science courses; non-science majors following a pre-health track may never be exposed to peer-review in science. A scaffolded second-semester Organic Chemistry laboratory experience requiring students to read and interpret a peer-reviewed article was developed and implemented. Students learn to convert an entry from an experimental section into a procedure and then synthesize salicylaldehyde phenylhydrazone via a condensation reaction. In a post lab assessment, students calculate the concentration of a Grignard solution using the hydrazone as a stoichiometric indicator. This laboratory experience provides an inexpensive and relevant means of introducing the peer-reviewed literature to undergraduate organic chemistry students, and has been tested by 387 unique Organic Chemistry II students over four semesters.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; hands-on learning; addition reactions; synthesis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (118 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

The Supporting Material includes Pre-laboratory instructions for students, a pre-laboratory quiz, a post laboratory quiz, student instructions for uploading the laboratory, and representative spectra and notebook pages. (46 KB)

The Chemical Educator 1996-2018