Deanna Csomo McCool | April 29, 2020
For some students taking courses within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, completing them online involves more than simply taking notes and memorizing concepts for tests.
They continue to do real chemistry – minus the lab.
“One of the great things about being at Notre Dame is seeing how our students and faculty have stepped up to the challenges posed by COVID-19,” said ”https://chemistry.nd.edu/people/j-daniel-gezelter/" target="_blank">Dan Gezelter, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “We’re finding creative solutions that will help our students complete their courses and learn as much as possible under challenging conditions."
Emily Tsui, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, after speaking with Professor Marya Lieberman, decided to create electrochemical kits for the Chemistry Across the Periodic Table course that she teaches.
“I thought it would be nice for them to be able to make an actual electrochemical cell, even though my class is not a lab,” Tsui said.
For the students who were interested, she sent them a voltmeter, some copper and silver wire for electrodes, a packet of gelatin, and a piece of Tygon tubing (a clear plastic tubing), along with some simple copper and sodium salts. The students are able to use the gelatin, tubing, and sodium salt to make a salt bridge, then connect the voltmeter and electrode wires to two simple solutions to measure an electrochemical cell potential, Tsui said.
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