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2011 Fall Newsletter


List of papers in this newsletter

1.    XCITR – Explore Chemical Information Teaching Resources, Guenter Grethe, Grace  Baysinger, Rene Deplanque, Gregor Fels, Ira Fresen, Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Gregor Zimmermann 
2.    Sep 2011 Information Competencies for Chemistry Undergraduates, submitted by Grace Baysinger 
3.    The Jmol Virtual Molecular Model Kit: A Resource for Teaching and Learning ChemistryOtis Rothenberger, Thomas A. Newton, Robert M. Hanson, Markus Sitzmann  
4.    Learning Chemistry Through Inquiry: The Molecular Workbench to the Rescue, Charles Xie
5.   Activities for the International Year of Chemistry Organized and Facilitated by the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) in IUPAC, Mustafa SOZBiLiR
6.    The Analytical Sciences Digital Library, Thomas M. Spudich 
7.    The Dynamic Laboratory Manual: A Software Tool to Support Practical Chemistry Skil Development, Tim Harrison, Nick Norman, Paul Wyatt
8.    Clash of the Titans, Harry Pence
9.    New CCCE Site Initiatives

Newsletter Articles

Abstracts of Papers

Guenter Grethe1
Grace Baysinger2
Rene Deplanque3
Gregor Fels4
Ira Fresen3
Andrea Twiss-Brooks5
Gregor Zimmermann3

1Consultant, Alameda, CA
2Stanford University, Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library, Stanford, CA
3FIZ CHEMIE Berlin, Berlin,Germany
4University of Paderborn, Department of Chemistry, Germany
5University of Chicago, John Crerar Library, Chicago, IL

In 2005, the Division of Chemical Information of the American Chemical Society (CINF) and the Division of Computer-Information-Chemie (CIC) of the German Chemical Society established a Collaborative Working Group to foster a transnational dialogue in order to develop a shared approach for the access, exchange and management of chemical information. Within the larger context of the overall approach, the working group developed XCITR, an international repository of chemical information educational material to be used by librarians and instructors in chemical information. XCITR makes full use of features in Web 2.0 technology and is meant to be a hub in which instructors at all levels can deposit and access important teaching materials. This paper describes the history, organization and technical details of XCITR supplemented by examples from this freely available source.

Grace Baysinger
Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library, Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Otis Rothenberger1
Thomas A. Newton2
Robert M. Hanson3
Markus Sitzmann4

1) Illinois State University, Normal, IL
2) University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
3) St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Since 2004, Jmol has become the de facto molecular viewer for Web pages, supporting chemical education, chemical research, cheminformatics, and molecular biology. One result of recent efforts to enhance the capabilities of the Jmol applet is the CheMagic O=CHem Virtual Molecular Model Kit: The VMK is a multi-functional molecular model kit capable of doing everything that can be done with traditional “ball and stick” models, and much, much more. Along with a brief history of its development and a brief look behind the scenes, this paper will describe the major features of the VMK and illustrate various ways it may be used as a pedagogical tool.

Charles Xie
The Advanced Educational Modeling Laboratory, The Concord Consortium
Concord, MA 01742, USA

The Molecular Workbench software ( is a computational tool for investigating atomic-scale phenomena. Its computational engines generate dynamic visualizations of microscopic processes that can be observed, manipulated, and analyzed on the computer screen. As such, the tool empowers students to learn through conducting completely graphical “computational experiments” for ideas otherwise untestable in classrooms. This capacity results in many opportunities of inquiry. It significantly lowers the barrier for learning and teaching abstract concepts in physical science. Instructors can bring a salient dynamic visualization up front without intimidating their students with obscure terminology or difficult mathematics. Worth ten thousand words, such a visual representation focuses students on ideas, not vocabulary or math. The Molecular Workbench software is made possible by the National Science Foundation.

Atatürk University, Erzurum-Turkey, TM and Project Group Chair

This paper aims to highlight the significant activities organized and facilitated by the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) many of which are carried out in partnership with others within and outside of IUPAC. Several global and local activities special to IYC 2011 has been organized around world. At the international level, the Global Water Experiment (GWE), jointly organized by IUPAC and UNESCO, became a central flagship unifying activity for IYC 2011 with the hope of reaching hundreds of thousands of young people around the world with hands-on experiments related to the substance water, which is vital to all forms of life on earth. The second activity, carried out in partnership with RSC, ACS, and UNESCO is focused on visualizing and understanding the science of climate change. The project is in the final stages of producing a set of peer-reviewed, interactive, web-based materials to help learners visualize and understand the underlying science of climate change. The third activity was a global stamp competition which was open to all students around the world in 3 age categories (12-14, 15-18 and undergraduates from all subjects (not only chemistry!). Finally another international activity was focused on collecting the ideas for IYC 2011 all over the world with the goal of developing toolkits for national chemistry days and weeks during IYC 2011 to raise awareness of the importance of chemistry as the central science by highlighting the applications of chemistry in daily life. In addition to these international activities several local activities were organized to celebrate IYC 2011 around world. This paper will focuses on describing these activities to the chemistry community.

Tom Spudich
Maryville University, College of Arts and Sciences
St. Louis, MO 63141

The Analytical Sciences Digital Library (ASDL) is a collection of peer-reviewed, web-based resources related to chemical measurements and instrumentation. Materials in the ASDL collection include active learning materials, animations, case studies, lecture slides, on-line texts, simulations, tutorials, and virtual experiments. Sites are categorized to allow for easy browsing or the collection can be searched using a keyword search function. Each web resource in the main collection of ASDL includes a detailed annotation describing the site and its useful attributes. In addition to providing annotated links to web-based content, the ASDL journal, JASDL, publishes online articles in the areas of e-Courseware, e-Labware, e-Educational Practices. Statistics provided by Google Analytics show a global reach with users from around the globe.

 Tim Harrison1
Nick Norman2
Paul Wyatt3

1) Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow, University of Bristol and co-author of Foundation LabSkills products, Bristol, UK
2) Chief Executive Officer of Bristol ChemLabS, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
3) Director of Bristol ChemLabS, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

The Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM) is an interactive, web-based laboratory manual, which has been developed by Bristol ChemLabS staff in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol in association with a Bristol-based e-learning company, Learning Science Ltd. It forms the centre piece of the Bristol ChemLabS ( student experience of practical chemistry and has transformed teaching and student learning in a laboratory environment. This paper provides an overview of how the new laboratory experience evolved and why the DLM was developed as well as the staff-student interface supporting software to record marks and absences. The expansion of this educational approach to postgraduate level chemistry and to other disciplines is noted.

Harry E. Pence
SUNY Oneonta
Oneonta, NY, 13820

The death of Steve Jobs caused me to stop and reflect on how much computing has changed since Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. At that time, computing was Balkanized into many medium-sized companies, most of which were competing for market share in specialized niches. Now we live in a time when a few large corporations dominate many aspects of the computer marketplace, and Steve Jobs played a key role in many of these changes. Competition continues to be intense, but the competition is increasingly among four major companies, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Each of these has dominated one or more aspects of computing, and now each is increasingly competing with the other three to gain control over as much of the computing space as possible. What do all these changes mean for Chemists?