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Topic: Choosing Lab Electives  (Read 1735 times)

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Offline Fal

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Choosing Lab Electives
« on: January 31, 2013, 10:35:32 PM »
Hi guys,

Just want some opinion/guidance on choosing lab electives. I'm interested in analytical work and education/teaching, but that's about all I can narrow down to. I didn't do too well in organic chem last year, so the organic synthesis is perhaps out of the picture for me, but if it's an imperative part of a chem degree then perhaps I should consider it? (I still did find it enjoyable, even though my marks did not reflect that). I'm also thinking I should select the teaching option since I'm interested in education, but I'm told that o
ption will be 100% on the computer, and as my final lab subject, shouldn't I be getting as much experience in the actual labs? I just don't want to make any uninformed selections which I may regret later so your professional opinions will be very highly regarded!

I need to put down four preferences-Here are the options:

Organic 1: Preparative & Organic Chemistry   
This theme comprises a sequential, multi-step, preparation of the chemiluminescent compound lucigenin (using steam distillation, Soxhlet extraction, dipolar aprotic solvents, and standard preparative techniques)

Organic 2: Analytical Organic Chemistry   
This theme includes three small preparations, after each of which the products are identified by spectroscopic methods: iodochlorination of styrene (additions, eliminations and substitutions; analysis by GC/MS and NMR); bromination of methyl crotonate (free radical chemistry; analysis by NMR); and the dimerisation of cinnamic acid (photochemical cyclo¬addition; analysis by NMR).

Metal Complexes 1: Imininodiacetate Complexes and Job’s Law      
This theme includes the preparation of some isomeric iminodiacetate complexes of metals, after which the products are identified by spectroscopic and other methods: (preparation, visible/UV, NMR, magnetochemistry, to determine the stereochemistry); and a Job’s law study to determine the metal/ligand ratio present in solution in several metal complexes.

Metal Complexes 2: Acetylacetone Complexes        
This theme includes the preparation of a series of acetylacetonate complexes of metals (preparation, visible/UV, NMR, magnetochemistry). The ‘aromatic’ nature of the acetylacetone ring in the compelx will be investigated by spectroscopic means and carrying out some electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions will be performed on the complexes.

Micelles   
In this theme you will measure the Critical Micelle Concentration of a surfactant by measuring physical properties (conductivity, surface tension) of solutions; observe the effect of CMC formation on the spectral properties (absorption, fluorescence) of a dye and use this to determine the CMC of the surfactant; and determine the effect on the rates of certain reactions when micelles are formed.

Spectroscopy   
In this theme you will measure and assign the peaks in high-resolution infrared spectra of simple diatomic gas molecules and calculate physical properties from them; you will use quantum mechanics to calculate bond lengths, force constants and rotational constants of some diatomic molecules; you will investigate the high resolution infrared spectrum of a triatomic molecule; and you will deduce the force constants and dissociation energy of a diatomic gas from its uv-visible spectrum.

Designing a Teaching Package   
In this theme the team will use specialist computer software to design a computer teaching package to teach some particular topic. The topic will be chosen by negotiation with the theme coordinator. The teaching package will be on-line style, including text with hyperlinks, graphics, etc.


Fal

Offline Dan

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Re: Choosing Lab Electives
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 03:49:52 AM »
I'm also thinking I should select the teaching option since I'm interested in education, but I'm told that option will be 100% on the computer, and as my final lab subject, shouldn't I be getting as much experience in the actual labs?

Go for what you're interested in. I wouldn't be worried about doing a computer-based option. Based on my experience, both as a student and staff, I would say the practical "experience" gained in undergraduate teaching labs is negligible anyway. Of course that may not be true for your institution.

If you want to have a crack at the organic anyway, read up on experimental techniques before the lab. Think about where you went wrong before. In my experience, the main problem in undergrad labs is that most of the students have a poor understanding of why they are doing what they're doing.
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