ChemMatters: December 2009

Teacher’s Guide (Dec. 2009)

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Activities and resources to facilitate student comprehension. About the Teacher’s Guide

Feature Articles

Hollywood’s Special Effects: How Did They Do That?

Many special effects used in movies are based upon a wide range of chemicals. Discover which chemicals are used to create fake snow, artificial skin, and explosions.

The Science of Snowflakes: Crystals from the Clouds 9*

Snow crystals come in an incredible variety of shapes, including wide flat plates, long thin columns, and branched snow stars. Why is that so?

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Richard Rickett
Space Food 11

Space food needs to be lightweight, compact, and require minimal preparation (given that you can’t cook it in space). How do NASA food scientists do it?

The Vinland Map: The Vikings’ Best Kept Secret 14*

The Vinland Map is either a 13th century map of America that pre-dates Christopher Columbus or a clever fraud. Learn about the scientists who have analyzed the map for the past 50 years and why they have not been able to solve its mystery yet.

Departments

Question from the Classroom

What are the chemical elements that are essential to life?

Did You Know?

Producing energy with carbonized chicken feathers; is air pollution as bad as cigarette smoke?

Profiles in Chemistry*

2004 Medalist J.L. Kiappes describes what it’s like to take part in the National Chemistry Olympiad and then the International.

Interested in Competing for the National Chemistry Olympiad? Here Is a Chance to Test Yourself!*

Try to answer a question that appeared in the National Chemistry Olympiad in 2003.

*Available in print issue only

Chemistry Olympiad Test Question

In this issue (pg. 19), we presented the first four isomers with the formula C4H10O.

What are the 4 other isomers with the formula C4H10O? Answer

Chemistry Olympiad Test Question

In this issue (pg. 19), we presented the first four isomers with the formula C4H10O.

What are the 4 other isomers with the formula C4H10O? Answer

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NASA