P161: New bite-sized chemistry teaching resources that use real 3D crystal structures

Author: Peter Hoare, Newcastle University, UK


Date: 8/4/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: LTT 102

Related Symposium: S17

Fundamental chemistry concepts such as conformation, stereochemistry, chirality and the geometrical shapes of metal coordination complexes cannot be properly understood without knowledge of the three-dimensional nature of chemical compounds. Rather than using molecular modeling kits to aid student learning, with their well-established limitations and misconceptions, how about using real crystal structures? The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) stores the published results of small molecule organic and organometallic X-ray diffraction studies: real structures and not idealised models, thus an ideal resource for teaching chemistry. This talk will outline the ongoing collaboration between the Chemistry Outreach Officer at Newcastle University, UK and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC), UK, the curators of the CSD. It will describe examples of new bite-sized teaching and learning activities that introduce and extend key chemistry concepts which require visualisation of 3D structures to aid full concept comprehension. Each topic includes a theory sheet, basic worksheet and one or more extension worksheets, all with answers. Specifically designed for a variety of uses, they are ideal for either pre-topic study, post-topic consolidation and learning reinforcement or as self-study activities to learn about the topic from scratch. Supervised by an academic with over 25 years teaching experience in UK high schools, these exercises have been written by students for students and have wide applicability at both high school and undergraduate levels.