Chemical € ducation: Software Abstract for Volume 7B, Number 2 Simulations and Interactive Resources
and may be interrupted when it has served its purpose. Most of the simulated experiments are e a u i ~ ~ ewith d graphing tools. Here are some examples from SIR Rate, which simulates zero, first, and second order reaction kinetics.
John S. Martin University of Alberta Edmonton,Alberta, Canada T6G 2G2 These Simulations and Interactive Resouroes (SIRS) are designed to support interactive lectures in introductory chemistrv. Thev provide auick access to computer-mnerated \isual matenaj, ranging 'from simple illush-iltionsnnd animations to complet~!simulations of'experiments. SIRS are completely under the instructor's cont&l and use a simple mouse-driven interface; they run under the MS-DOS operating system. Screens have been designed to be readable by large numbers of students when projected in a classroom. The 12 SIRS in this issue, listed as they appear in the menu and classified by subject, are: Periodic Table and Atomic Structure SIR Periodic: Periodic Table Displays SIR Orbit: Electron Orbits and Orbitals SIR Atomic: Electmn Configurations Phase Equilibrium and Gas Laws SIR Tom:Barometers and Manometers SIR E b u l l w n t Vnpnr Pressures SIR ldrnl ldral Gas Urhamor
.ICS OF THE REACTION R
Graoh of concentration vstime from SIR Rate.
The "rate" utilitv allows one to click anvwhere on the d o t of a reaction run."~hetangent method for finding slope is maphieally illustrated, and the time, concentration, and ins&ntaneous rate a t &at point are shown. KINETICS OF THE REACTION R
Heat Capacity and mermochemistty SIR Calorie: Heat Capacity, Heat of Reaction Reactions and Chemical Equilibrium SIR Dynamic: Approacb to Equilibrium SIR Q: The Law of Chemical Equilibrium Acid-Base Equilibrium SIR Titrate: Titration C w e s Redox and Electrochemistry SIR Polarity: Electrechemical Cells Chemical Kinetics SIR Rate: Rate of Reaction The unique aspect of these SIRs is that they are designed to suppori spontaneous, interactive lectuies. Once-the computer und ;I projection system are set up, all the SIRs are directlv accesiil)lr \.in an intuitive interface that allows the instructor to think about chemistry, not the computer. You can use this material heads-up, facing the class, not crouched over the keyboard. Numbers hardly ever have to be entered from the keyboard; one simply clicks on any number that appears in white on the screen. The left mouse button increases a number and the right button decreases it. All active options are present on the screen; there are no pull-down menus to search. On-screen help is always available and is sufficiently comprehensive that one may learn the operation of an SIRfrom it. Help can be used while preparingfor a lecture. to discover what the SIR can do. SIR? do not impose any partl~ularpedagogy, nor need thry interrupt the flow of the lecture. Themaph~cmatenal goes on the screen whenever the user decLded it is needed,
I' First-order plot from SIR Rate. One may plot concentration, its logarithm or its inverse against time. The computer provides a straight line that may be moved. If you click on the edge of the graph, the nearer end of the line jumps to the mouse pointer; the cursor keys may then be used to fine-position the line. Once the line is drawn and recorded, a click on the line shows the coordinates of that point.Similar facilities are available whenever ex~erimentaldata are erauhed. These SIRs are pan of a continuing project. More arc planned, covering most of the topics of introductory chemistry SIRS nre closely relatcd to interactive computer lessons, designed for individual instruction, being writcen by the author. Optimum use of the SIRS would eventually be to key them to the lessons.
Acknowledgment This project was hegun while the author was on sahhatical leave as n 19R2-93 CATALYST Fellow at the Univers~ty by ;I of T e x a s at Austin. Some of the work was supported - grant from the University of Calgaly. Volume 71 Number 8 August 1994