Where we meet with people making a difference
in higher education and learning.

A conversation with Alison Flynn of University of Ottawa

We work with students in chemistry, education research, and we have started to go into the area of growth and goals, so supporting students in their learning journeys. We want to empower students in their journeys toward careers, so they get the more of their time in higher education.

Time frame for research

I did my PhD research in organic chemistry, so when things were going badly, it could take years and years...

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When I was setting up the website (Compound Chem) I thought I would get loads of hits looking for information on the economics of compound interest, so I decided to go with Compound Chemistry. As it turns out, I still routinely on Facebook get a message about how to calculate compound interest, so I have to politely point out that they are probably on the wrong Facebook page.

What is it?

Compound Interest is a website on which I make a variety of posters and infographics where I show different facets of everyday chemistry. Highlighting say the chemistry of different foods and chemical compounds or looking at current events and looking at the chemistry behind that. So, it covers a whole host of topics. With this year being the International Year of the Periodic Table (#IYPT2019), I am doing a graphic for every single element along with the...

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It’s a website for creating lab diagrams in an easy and intuitive way. You can drag and drop lots of items and pieces of apparatus and assemble your diagram.  You can save it to use in teaching material or just show students how to set up an experiment in the lab.

How did this start?

This is not my day job. I’m not a teacher and I don’t even know that much about chemistry! I created the start of Chemix about 12 years ago when I was still studying and having trouble drawing diagrams for my lab report...

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The name:  It’s a play on archive. The original preprint serves had a Greek Chi instead of an X, that that was the joke, R-Chi-V, so archive. The website name is pronounced Chem-archive, but the URL is ChemRxiv.org, and as long as you can spell it that’s all that really matters. It’s a cool name but a bit confusing for the non-expert, we recognize that.

What it is: It’s a preprint server. Which is a fancy way of saying it’s a place to put your papers prior to peer review. The research is farther along than what you would give as a talk or seminar, but not quite a journal article yet. It’s in that magical time where the work is mostly a complete story, but still malleable because you can get and implement feedback on it...

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This is the second of our new “Ideas that Matter” podcasts,where meet with people making a difference in higher education teaching and learning. Listen to the interview at this link.

One of the more interesting parts of building our NSF-funded R&D has been working with and gaining advice from many talented chemistry education researchers. Professor Ginger Shultz of the University of Michigan is the Principal Investigator of a project sponsored jointly by Alchemie and the Michigan Economic Growth Institute,a state-wide initiative to match companies with university-based...

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We sat down with Jamie Caras the founder of Sapling Learning, to talk about his journey and what inspired him to build a series of companies working at the intersection of science learning and technology. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

I was on the typical PhD track at the University of Texas in biochemistry. My PI was a digital artist and I had some background in programming and web development, so we started building molecular visualizations for biochemistry. We called them biomolecular tours, 3D visualizations of active sites and enzymes. We used these to teach biochemistry and we found them really effective. Students loved to see the 3D stuff on the giant screen in the classroom. With a lot of positive feedback, we started getting featured in conferences and winning awards...

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