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ERIC Number: EJ1001187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Connecting Geometry and Chemistry: A Three-Step Approach to Three-Dimensional Thinking
Donaghy, Kelley J.; Saxton, Kathleen J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n7 p917-920 Jul 2012
A three-step active-learning approach is described to enhance the spatial abilities of general chemistry students with respect to three-dimensional molecular drawing and visualization. These activities are used in a medium-sized lecture hall with approximately 150 students in the first semester of the general chemistry course. The first activity involves using clay and sticks to help students visualize and overcome common misconceptions about geometric figures; the second activity involves connecting geometric figures with molecular shapes to foster an appreciation of the space that molecules fill; and the final activity is to introduce the more abstract valence shell electron pair repulsion theory using plastic, traditional molecular models to demonstrate how to represent molecules spatially on paper. The three activities can be done in three 55-min lectures with plenty of time for discussion. (Contains 4 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A