The Internet - A Tool for Learning Chemistry Group Name: Chem Tigers

Three of the members of our group are fraternity brothers. We have had previous chemistry classes together before and knew that we could work well together.

Group Members
    Bradley, John
    Calloway, Jerome
    Casserly, Andy
    Castellucci, Alfonso
    Stock, Brian

Group Meetings

Our group met 4 times before submitting this report. Two of the times were for approximately 10 minutes after class to discuss logistics of the group. The other two times were about 1 hour each to discuss which topic to do and how to subdivide the topic. In all we spent about 2 and 1/2 hours together not counting individual time browsing the web.

Project Title and Description

The Internet, A Tool For Learning Chemistry

Our group decided to select a topic that would possibly enhance our ability to learn organic chemistry. Knowing that this class would take much time and effort to produce the grade we wanted, we decided to make our topic how to use the internet as a tool for learning. The sites we use were found one of two ways. First, through links on the Chemistry 210 home page and second using the Excite search on Netscape. Both of these methods proved very effective and we feel that we now have some valuable tools to learn organic chemistry.

The federal government created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1965 as a response to the technological challenges posed by Sputnik. A member of the ARPA, Robert Taylor, believed that if computers were linked together electronically, investigators doing similar work in different parts of the country could share resources and results more easily. This was the first proposal the federal government funded to create the entity now known as the "internet". Taylor's idea, reinforced by the realization of the long distance communications network of the nation could not withstand a nuclear attack, fueled the process of creating two computers that could "talk" to each other over a large distance. The goal was achieved October 1, 1969 when the letters "L" and "O" were sent from a terminal at UCLA to Stanford. Our group has devised a method of applying the internet to enrich our learning experience in Organic Chemistry 210. We believe the use of the internet would increase our understanding of course materials if there were references available regarding the actual material in the text "Organic Chemistry" by Vollhardt and Schore. Therefore, we set out to revolutionize the learning experience by creating a sample of how the text could be written, with internet references to aid in the comprehension of the material. Chapter 1 will be the model for our project. Section 1-1 is an overview of the scope of organic chemistry. The text states, "a goal of organic chemistry is to relate the structure of a molecule to the reactions it can undergo." The address provides a great reference for accessing many helpful chemisty sites.

The bonds between atoms hold a molecule together. Energy is released when these bonds are formed. There are two mains causes of the energy release associated with bonding are based on two main laws: 1. Opposite charges attract each other, and 2. electrons spread out in space. This sort of bonding when opposite charges attract each other is described by Coulomb's Law. Click here for more information on Coulomb's Law. There are also two extreme types of bonding which occur that explain the interactions between atoms in organic molecules. First a covalent bond is formed by sharing electrons and an ionic bond is formed by transfer of one or more electrons from one atom to another. Therefore, in ionic bonds electron octets are formed by transfer of electrons and the octets are formed by sharing electrons in covalent bondsl. Click here to see a graphic representation of the two types of chemical bonds.

Structures using pairs of electron dots or straight lines to represent bonds are called Lewis structures. The rules for Lewis structures are a simple way for keeping track of valence electrons. Single, double and triple bonds as well as lone pairs are utilized to satisfy the octet rule of valence electrons. In organic chemistry, there are molecules with several equivalent Lewis structures. These are called resonance structures. Some molecules cannot be described sufficently by one Lewis structure, but exist in hybrids of several resonance forms. Atomic orbitals allow us to describe the probability of finding an electron in a certain area of space. This motion of an electron around the nucleus is described by wave equations. Section 1-7 deals with molecular orbitals and covalent bonding. Find out what good pictorial representations of what sigma and pi bonding orbitals as well as anti-bonding orbitals look like. Section 1-8 outlines Hybrid orbitals: Bonding in complex molecules. Here, the important concept of sp hybridization is discussed. Click here for information and pictorals regarding sp hybridization.

Group Dynamics

Our group had a very positive experience. We learned much more about not only how to work together to achieve a common goal, but we also learned a lot about our topic by simply surfing the web. I guess the only problem as would be with any group meeting would be time to get everyone together. Our group also studied a little together for the first test and would like to do so in the future. These projects also give an opportunity to see a different side of the academic arena other than just quizzes and tests. Overall we felt it was a very positive experience.