Fermi Questions: Back of the Envelope Calculations

The Art of Estimation
When I was in high school, in the days before electronic calculators were available, we learned how to use mechanical slide rules (see ChemMatters, April 2004, p.4) for our calculations. While they were great for getting a good answer to math problems, they didn’t keep track of the decimal place. That had to be done by keeping track of an order of magnitude estimate of the answer. Continue reading “Fermi Questions: Back of the Envelope Calculations”

Happy Mole Day

The Union Homeschool ChemClub in Union, New Jersey, made it a fun Mole Day celebration in 2016. With the ChemClub Periodic Table of Moles nearby and a stuffed ACS mole watching over the event (see photo), they started by calculating the molar mass of several chemicals and then prepared different molar concentrations of sucrose, sodium chloride, and magnesium sulfate solutions. After adding their chalk artwork to the sidewalk, they calculated how many moles of chalk they left on the sidewalk. Then they were given a mole of four different metals and had to use their chemistry skills to identify each one. They topped off the celebration by making delicious sugar cookies that spelled out “Happy Mole Day” (see photo).

Martian Music

If you’ve been exploring the resources for The Martian Virtual Book Club, you’ll notice a section in the Pre-Reading Guide called Martian Music. We, the ChemClub staff – Erica, Michael and Karen, wanted to share our music picks about space, travel, and survival as inspiration. Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration (& new music) in our choices while making your own list

Share your playlists with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #ACSChemClubBook.

Continue reading “Martian Music”

The Martian Virtual Book Club Resources

The Virtual Book Club is officially live now! If you didn’t sign up before, you are still able to access and use all of the great resources we’ve created around Andy Weir’s The Martian! Check the blog each Thursday from now until May to follow our journey as we read the book, post background information about the activities and the book, and take a look at what the Clubs are sharing through #ACSChemClubBook.

ChemClubs who signed up for the Virtual Book Club, you’ll be receiving a packet soon with the guides and activities available below. There are two contests each with an opportunity to win a movie prize pack. Just share your photos, lists, calculations, etc. on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #ACSChemClubBook, or send your responses to hschemclubs@acs.org.

Continue reading The Martian Virtual Book Club Resources”