> Anyway, I remember thinking, I could explore so many chemical concepts with this equation, but do any of the topics in my course suggest that this reaction has the potential to burn their eyebrows off? In other words, after I"ve analyzed every conceivable aspect of a reaction, what does this actually look like in person?
Thanks for sharing these thoughts.
It reminds me of my experience with changing chemistry education, based on my experiences with my father and grandfather, this has been an interesting shift in chemistry education over the last 50 years. My father was always bemused that I knew so little about human scale chemistry (names of useful chemicals, what specific chemicals smelled like, how to plumb simple chemistry, etc.) after taking high school chemistry in the 1970's. He had taken lots of agricultural chemistry at Cornell in the 1940's and worked with ag chemicals in the field for 10 years before becoming a high school teacher. His father had a high school education, but worked as industrial chemistry lab tech for his 30 years and had a strong practical chemical intuition as a result. I knew more about atomic structure than they did, but that didn't impress them much.
I don't get the sense that this experience of chemistry is part of the chemist's curriculum today and so we need to think about how to adjust chemical safety education to reflect this change. I also think that the general citizenry would appreciate some level of chemical safety education as well.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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