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A Calculated Bang

This directed case study provides an opportunity to apply stoichiometry to combustion reactions of commonly used explosive materials. Initially, st ...

A Case in Point: From Active Learning to the Job Market

This case was developed for use in the first weeks of a course in order to show students how participating in active learning exercises in their cl ...

A Case of Medication Error

This case study begins with a real news article about a six-month-old baby who died from an overdose of medication administered by hospital staff. ...

A Case of Respiratory Distress

This clinical case study was developed to engage students by making connections between core concepts in chemistry and physiological processes in t ...

A Cool Glass of Water

Does an ice cube melt more quickly in salt water or in freshwater? The answer surprises the group of student science teachers portrayed in this cas ...

A Curious Mission: An Analysis of Martian Molecules

In this case study, students play the role of a NASA scientist tasked with analyzing samples of atmosphere and soil collected on Mars as part of th ...

A Googol of Atoms?

What is a googol?  Invented by Edward Kasner, an American mathematician who popularized the number in his 1940 book, Mathematics and the I ...

A Light Lunch?

This case study was developed to engage students by making connections between core concepts in chemistry and obesity related factors. The case is ...

A Recipe for Invention

In this case study, designed to help break down stereotypes about scientists and engineers, students research the personal and professional lives o ...

A Struggle for Power in China: The Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam in China is one of the world's largest hydroelectric dams, providing energy for millions of people. However, the dam's constru ...

Accidental Drowning or Foul Play?

This case was developed for use in the first semester of a sophomore organic chemistry laboratory to illustrate how a combination of techniques is ...

Aliens on Earth?

The discovery of a bacterium capable of substituting arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA was announced with much fanfare in 2010. It was immediately ...

As Light Meets Matter

In this dilemma case, the central character, a museum curator, must decide whether or not to show a painting as a hitherto “undiscovered&rdqu ...

Avogadro Goes to Court

This case study was inspired by a successful lawsuit brought by students against a professor at Pace University who had assigned them the task of c ...

Baffled by the Baby Bottle

This case is based on an actual article entitled "Baby Alert" that appeared in Consumer Reports (May 1999). The article raises some concer ...

Bioluminescence and 16th-century Caravaggism

This case study looks at the probable connection between bioluminescence and Caravaggio's painting style in the 16th century in order to explore th ...

Bonding with the Tutor: How to Stick Together in Chemistry

This case study presents the story of "Nick," a student who has been assigned the task of writing a research paper describing the fundamentals of c ...

Breaking Bad: Real Science or Hollywood Science?

This two-part case study with a laboratory component uses a pop-cultural reference to engage students and takes the study of electrochemistry from ...

Burning Down the House

In this lab-based case, arson investigator “Marie Stanforth” comes under suspicion when her ex-husband dies in a fire. Students assume ...

Caught Red-Handed

Was the "Brooklyn Butcher" of 1926 a cold-blooded killer or was something less sinister at play? This interrupted case study introduces students to ...

Cooking Under Pressure

The Clarksons are making dinner for friends and decide to try out their new pressure cooker. As students read the dialogue that ensues, they learn ...

Corn Ethanol: Using Corn to Make Fuel?

This problem-based case study guides students through a systematic exploration of the scientific issues surrounding the production and development ...

Deflategate: A Real Application of the Ideal Gas Law

This case study involves analysis of data collected as part of the National Football League's investigation into the New England Patriots allegedly ...

Developing a Holistic Understanding of Hybridization and Resonance

This case study is the result of the author's efforts to help students master the complex concept of resonance by unifying multiple concepts across ...

Diabetes and Acid/Base Chemistry

This case study focuses on a teenage patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) who presents with severe acidosis, becomes combative and loses co ...

Disaster at the Daisys’

This directed case study was written to help students understand both organic and inorganic analysis of forensic evidence. It tells the story of a ...

Dust to Dust

Tom and his grandfather, a retired high school chemistry teacher, are talking about a National Geographic television documentary titled “Waki ...

Electric Cars and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

This “clicker case” provides students with an overview of batteries and fuel cells and the oxidation-reduction reactions used in these ...

Equilibria in the Environment

This laboratory-based case study is designed to train students in using the scientific method to explore chemical equilibrium in the context of oce ...

Ethanol or Biodiesel?

In this case study, two students have been asked to conduct a “systems analysis” study to determine whether ethanol derived from corn o ...

Fat Facts

It's Mother's Day and Dolly, a high school senior, is making a Mediterranean salad for her mom, who is a college chemistry major and who likes to t ...

Filthy Lucre

"Tom Brown" is arrested at the airport on his way home for winter break and charged with possession of cocaine when a drug sniffing dog detects tra ...

Fishing Midst the Morning Dew

In this case study, “Tatiana,” a college student, introduces psychrometry to her younger brother as she explains the physical phenomeno ...

Fuel from Water and the Sun

This problem-based case study presents recent advancements in the development and application of technologies geared towards harnessing sunlight fo ...

Gas Cylinders and Safety

This case study, developed for an introductory chemistry course as part of a two-year dental hygiene curriculum, teaches students how to apply gas ...

Get the Lead Out!

This case study, developed for a general chemistry course, is intended to teach students the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science. Stu ...

History of the Atom

In this clicker case, students are guided through the history of atomic structure, and in the spirit of discovery learning, use data from historica ...

How to Remove Makeup

This case study explores how intermolecular forces affect the solubility of substances. The story line presents a scenario in which specialists in ...

Hydrogen Powered Cars

This problem-based case study guides students through a systematic exploration of the scientific issues surrounding the application and development ...

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad for the Apple Industry?

In this interrupted case, students analyze a peer-reviewed article and apply the scientific method to solve an agricultural mystery. A fictional ap ...

Is It a Meteorite?

In this interrupted case study, two friends find unanalyzed mass spectra of a green rock suspected to be a meteorite. Students are tasked with iden ...

Kermit to Kermette?

This case study explores the unintended side effects of chemicals introduced into the environment, specifically organic compounds that can act as e ...

Let's Get This Course Started

The first day of class is often a reading of the syllabus, even when active learning approaches are used throughout the rest of the term. This inte ...

Liquid Coal

In this problem-based case study, students systematically explore the scientific issues surrounding the application and development of coal-to-liqu ...

Mystery in Alaska

This interrupted case study highlights the importance of energy considerations within food chains by examining the population decline of Steller se ...

One Headache After Another: Biochemistry Edition

Topamax®, developed to treat epilepsy, is also used as a preventative for migraine. In this case study, students read about a woman experiencin ...

Organic Food

Currently there is considerable confusion surrounding the use of the term "organic" as applied to food and other consumer products, but within the ...

PCBs in the Last Frontier

This interrupted case study is based on current research involving the global transport of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Students are asked to ...

Penicillin

This case study uses the discovery and molecular structure of penicillin to teach basic chemistry concepts as they apply to biological and biologic ...

Properties of Gases: A Case Study of the Bends

In 2012, Mike Prickett, a world-renowned underwater cinematographer, was working on a commercial photo shoot in Tahiti when he witnessed a fellow d ...

Rated MPG for Confusion

This case study follows a family’s dilemma about how to save money on gasoline. Should they keep their SUV and trade in their Corolla for a h ...

Setting Water on Fire: A Case Study in Hydrofracking

This case study is used to teach undergraduate students about hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking), a controversial method for extracting methane f ...

Should Bill Buy Sammy?

In this case, students are shown the relevance of chemistry in daily decision-making by taking a look at the popular dietary supplement, s-adenosyl ...

Sweet Truth

This case reviews concepts of monosaccharide, disaccharide, and polysaccharide and contrasts the structures of different pairs of carbohydrates as ...

The Art of a Deal

This case is a classroom simulation of the types of negotiations that went into the Kyoto Protocol agreement on limiting global greenhouse gas emis ...

The Biochemistry of Curly and Straight Hair

This interrupted case study examines basic concepts of chemical bonding by telling the story of “Madison,” who is learning about the te ...

The Case of the Missing Bees

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has claimed approximately one-third of the commercial honeybee population in recent years. A number of causes have b ...

The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: General Edition

This case discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergen ...

The Chemistry of Cocaine

This case study on the chemistry of cocaine is in the form of a classroom discussion between a professor and her students about cocaine, its addict ...

The Flint Water Crisis

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, provides a compelling context for understanding the importance of each of the major classes of chemical reacti ...

The Molecular Origin of Life: Replication or Metabolism-First? Advanced Version

This case explores both the evidence and inconsistencies in the two major hypotheses for the origins of life on Earth: Replication-First or Metabol ...

The Never-Ending Contamination

This case study discusses a possible national security crisis of a terrorist group stealing radioactive materials in an attempt to build and detona ...

The Purple Pill

This interrupted case study is designed to teach students about chirality and the pH scale in the context of medicinal chemistry. Students read abo ...

The Secret of Popcorn Popping

Focusing on the important role of water in living cellular chemistry, this case emphasizes the general solubility rule, "like dissolves like," whic ...

The Spark of Life

In biology classes, students are typically taught that spontaneous generation does not take place. And yet, at the origin of life, life had to aris ...

The Van Deemter Equation

Developed for an upper-level undergraduate instrumental analysis course, this case actively engages students in an understanding of the abstract, o ...

Thinking Inside the Box

In this particular take on the classic “Black Box Experiment,” students working in groups are given sealed boxes containing objects tha ...

Those Pesky Side-Reactions

The characters in this dilemma case must balance personal financial considerations, their professional futures, and time constraints against ensuri ...

To Spray or Not to Spray

In this case study, students grapple with the complex issues surrounding the use of DDT to control malaria in the developing world. In their examin ...

Using Oceans to Fight Global Warming?

This problem-based case study explores the scientific issues surrounding the use of large scale iron fertilization as a means of decreasing atmosph ...

What’s in Your Water?

This directed case study uses a fictionalized story about a family that has recently moved to the Washington DC area and is confronted with a situa ...

When Metals Eat Each Other

This case study was written to help students understand metal reactivity and metal incompatibility before they start learning about redox reactions ...

When the Flu Is Not the Flu

This case study explores the progression of COVID-19 from initial flu-like symptoms to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to infection ...

Why Homeostasis Is Important to Everyday Activities

In this case study, a college student named "Blake" winds up in the emergency room after he experiences a panic attack brought on by drinking a mix ...

Would You Supersize My Cancer, Please?

The recent discovery of acrylamide in both fried and baked foods like French fries and potato chips has caused alarm. Acrylamide is both a known ca ...