EDUCATION: No-Spill Chemistry Lab

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Science  07 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5647, pp. 961
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5647.961c

Doing chemistry in cyberspace can't duplicate the atmosphere of the real thing, with the clink of glassware and the hiss of Bunsen burners. On the other hand, nothing can blow up or catch fire, students can easily restart botched experiments, and there's no mess to clean up. This virtual laboratory applet from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh gives students a taste of lab experiments and lets them practice taking measurements and planning their work. Aimed at beginning undergrads, the more than 20 investigations probe topics such as chemical equilibrium, stoichiometry, and temperature's effects on solubility. Lab neophytes can try their hand at various techniques, such as titration, pipetting, and dilution.

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