A mole mnemonic


The accompanying chart is a fun mnemonic offered to help students struggling with the concept of the mole by making the idea more concrete. The chart ...
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A Mole Mnemonic Bernard S. Brown Department of B ochemlstry and Molecular B~ology n g . Road, Manchester, M I 3 9PT. UK The Med cal Schoo , Stoplord B ~ ~ l d ~Oxlord

The accompanying chart is a fun mnemonic offered to help students struggling with the concept of the mole by making the idea more concrete. The chart helps students realize that a mole indicates the amount of a substance in three different, but familiar ways mass volume number These three types of quantities are represented by simple, concrete, everyday measures and items, as shown by the following "shopping list"

.

a kilogram of butter

a liter of milk a dozen eggs

The chart uses the mole's symbol, mol, to reveal these three "faces", thus showing that the mole is "merely common sense applied to an atomic model".' The chart was used previously to illustrate an article published in a magazine for biology s t ~ d e n t sIt . ~is published here so that it may gain circulation among chemistry teachers, with whom it may take its place alongside the mole calculato~,~ the mole-bile,4and the "three basketball^",^ as a means of easing this 'scourge for school and college students.""

' Brown, Bent, H . A. J. Chem. Educ. 1985, 62(1),54-60. B. S. BioIogicalSciencesReview 1989, 2(1),14-15. Hemp, H. F. J. Chem. Educ. 1975,52 (1l),725-726. Radtke, N. J. Chem. Educ. 1978, 55 (9), 599. Jardine, F. H . J. Chem. Educ. 1977, 54(2),112. "aaznbv. J. N.: Morris. J. E.: Waddinaton. D. J. J. Chem. Educ.

Volume 68 Number 12 December 1991

1039