Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Sub Image2:Macro to Micro Structures
1) Atoms and Molecules2) Macro to Micro Structures 3) Energetics and Dynamics 4) Theory and Practice in Chemical Systems 5) Chemical Design
6) The Chemistry of Life7) Chemistry and the Environment8) Chemistry at the Interface

Unit 5.2 Stoichiometry
Stoichiometry, always a difficult concept for chemistry students, can be introduced by familiar processes like baking. In this segment students bake cakes by varying the proportion of ingredients.
Video program cues: 4:45-15:20

Designing chemicals

"We, as organic chemists, are molecular engineers. Our tools, instead of wood and steel and hammers and nails, are atoms and molecules. And we have learned how to put these together to build molecules… so when we design, it’s no different than when an architect designs. You ask yourself which atoms you want placed where, what the ultimate architecture of the molecule is, and then you design a route to build it. Then you…actually make the molecule."

Dr. Kevin Chapmann
Medicinal Research Chemist


Dagani, R(1999)' Green Winners, 'Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 77, No. 27, pp: 30-32.

The tools of chemistry

Teachers’ forum

"It is all new to them. It is novel for them to think that cooking has anything to do with chemistry."

Caryn Galatis
Thomas Edison High School, Virginia

"Here’s a challenge that we have then: If we are going to talk about household chemicals as a basis for their understanding of chemistry, we also have to teach students how to apply some of the techniques and tools that chemists use in the lab to working with these materials. So that is how we begin to quantify and measure and compare things, and this really is a challenge because we don’t find too much help in the books and lab manuals that we get. What we are trying to do is to use everyday substances with mathematics and modern techniques that traditionally chemists use."

Dr. Leslie Pierce
Thomas Edison High School, Virginia


Gimenez, S.M.N.; Yabe, M.J.S.; Kondo, N.K.; Mourino, R.O.; Moura, G.C.R.(2000)' Linking the Lab Experience with Everyday Life: An Analytical Chemistry Experiment for Agronomy Students, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 77, pp: 181-182.


Students’ ideas

"I’m guessing something to do with how stuff works, I don’t know."

"Mathematical terms? I don’t know."

"Sounds like something you eat for dinner."


Ault, A. (2001)' How to Say How Much: Amounts and Stoichiometry, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 78, No. 10, pp: 1347-1349.

The stoichiometry of cooking

Lisa Morine teaches stoichiometry using the chemical composition of the ingredients of cakes as an analogy.



  • An extensive site from the University of Utah on food science.
  • A unit converter for the kitchen. Will convert SI and English units. Convenient for anyone adapting a recipe for class use.

JCE Editorial Staff (2000)' Flat as a Pancake? Exploring Rising in Baked Goods, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 77, No. 10, pp: 1264A-1264B and supplements1-3

McCamish, M. (1987)' The Rise of Self-Rising Flour: A Recipe for Success, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 64, pp:710.

Proceed to Unit 5.3 arrow

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