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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Keyword: in the classroom

Dr. Jeremy Burkett has created a new mobile chemistry app to supplement topics in general chemistry courses. It's called "Crystalz" and is currently available in the iTunes App Store. It is an app to help students visualize crystal lattice structure and packing, in high definition space-filling form or simple wire frames. The models can be moved and rotated in the app to see the crystals from any viewpoint and provides structural information about bond angles and sizes.  

Several summer courses are being taught in the School of the Sciences in chemistry, biology and math. The courses run from June 5 until July 30 which still gives students a bit of a break before returning in the fall. General Chemistry I and II are being offered, and meet Monday through Thursday for lecture and have two three-hour lab periods per week. The new Manning Academic Center provides the ample classroom and laboratory space to allow for summer classes to run in parallel with other summer programs like Science Camp and Project Lead the Way. Taking summer classes at Stevenson, either in person or online, is a great way for students to get ahead or stay on track in their major and pay their tuition by the credit hour. An added bonus is summer courses often have a class size even smaller than our normal small class size. Pictured is Dr. Ward teaching General Chemistry II. 

Final exams start this week at Stevenson. To support students while they study, the library locations have extended hours and designated quiet areas....Click here to read more.

The Inorganic Chemistry class recently demonstrated their success at making the classic "1-2-3 superconductor" in lab.  The name comes from the required proportion of metal atoms in the the formula, YBa2Cu3O7​.  A correctly synthesized​ superconductor will repel other magnetic substances when it is cooled below its critical temperature.  The students were able to demonstrate this effect by using liquid nitrogen to cool the superconductor pellets and then levitate small fragments of magnets above them. Pictured above is a successfully levitated magnet!

Did you know that the $1 bill has not had a face-lift since 1963?  Did you know U.S. currency is one of the most difficult to counterfeit and that most notes have over a dozen anti-counterfeit features? Did you also know that the detection of counterfeit currency is under the purview of the United States Secret Service? Students and guests in Introduction to Forensic Science learned all this and more when alumnae Julia Wikoff Barker (BS'10/MS'11) visited to give a seminar on questioned document evidence. Julia brought samples of currency, both authentic and counterfeit, for students to examine, and quizzed everyone on their ability to match handwriting samples. She is a chemistry and forensic science graduate and is now a Forensic Document Examiner for the U.S. Secret Service. In her work, she examines all kinds of evidence, from falsified contracts and identification to counterfeit currency. 

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