A fundamental tenet of any laboratory course is that science should be a hands-on experience.
the best way to teach chemistry would be to do away with textbooks and lab manuals and to simply
allow each student to have access to an unlimited number of chemicals.
While this might be a great
theory, it’s not realistic. Although, the idea for this experiment is to go in that direction. Therefore, we
are removing the constraints of typical experiments in order to let each of you study one aspect of
chemistry that interests you.
There is no assigned experiment.
No assigned topic.
Instead, you and a partner will select the topic, pick up an experiment from the literature, and
read the necessary background material.
You will write down the list of chemicals, glassware, and
You will decide which data to collect, how many times to repeat the experiment,
and how to improve the experiment if it were to be repeated by another group of students.
Time, however, is a constraint with which we must deal.
With unlimited time your assignment would
be to create an experiment.
With only a few weeks allotted to this project, your assignment is to find
an experiment or topic in the scientific literature which lends itself to the general chemistry laboratory,
prepare for that experiment or a modification of it, perform the experiment, and then submit a report of
Partners must be from the same lab group, day and aisle.
The project is divided in
In the week of February 7,
you will learn how to use the library research tools (university catalog,
international electronic databases.
Librarians from the Schulich library have prepared a handout and
a video especially for this course.
Both can be found either on your course WebCT or by clicking the
It is highly
recommended that you start your research soon after watching the video, when instructions are fresh in
You and your partner have to find two suitable experiments and submit them to your demonstrator by
Drop them in your demonstrator box.
Indicate which one is your #1 choice, or we will
decide for you.
For each experiment submitted
, you must include:
The complete list of apparatus and chemicals, including the amounts needed (page 6)
a photocopy of the experiment text
, with full reference
(Author, Title, Journal Name, Year of
Publication, Volume Number, Page Number)
visible on the first page.