Sciencemadness Discussion Board

We need a sticky thread about starter experiments for newbies

fusso - 13-9-2018 at 08:55

We need a sticky thread for newbies about what experiments they can do as unexperienced chemists. We've seen quite a few threads from newbs asking about experiment suggestions, and repeating the same answers is boring, and wasting time and storage space. So obviously we should have a thread compiling previous discussions of starter experiments and make newbs read them first before opening a new thread asking questions about starter experiments.

Ubya - 13-9-2018 at 10:09

a simple list of already existing threads would be enough IMO

j_sum1 - 13-9-2018 at 13:06

These are some of my favourite threads. Great to encourage newbies. Lots of sharing of ideas and experiences. Lots of discussion of basic procedures and safety that would otherwise not get a look in. I don't care in this case that there is often repetition of earlier threads.

A wiki page might be a good idea though if one does not already exist.

highpower48 - 14-9-2018 at 08:06

Anyway to pull the previous threads into one post under a different title such as Experiments for the new Chemist, and make it a sticky?

j_sum1 - 14-9-2018 at 19:42

Quote: Originally posted by highpower48  
Anyway to pull the previous threads into one post under a different title such as Experiments for the new Chemist, and make it a sticky?

It would not be that hard. A search for relevant threads. Highlight the original post by colouring it blue. Then merging them together. I think that would make navigating the composite thread easier.

Then later when new threads are started they can be appended.

But it is an unorthodox way of handling things. The question is whether this would be better (a) for newbies, (b) for other members who are trying to be helpful and (c) as a store of useful information.

I don't really see a strong case except perhaps fopr (c). But a large unwieldy thread is probably going to be searched rather than read and so even there, there might not be a net gain.

I will run it by the other mods and see what they think.

JScott - 21-9-2018 at 04:10

Current noob here,

Thought my two cents might be helpful. I have been doing chemistry experiments for a long time, on and off for decades. But, it wasn't until I ended up here that I gave enough consideration to being a chemist.

I am taking this much more seriously, and I am glad for the information. This forum is very important, but I think safety information is difficult to find.

This is the quickest read on the most important subject a new chemist should understand. It will mean a redesign of my storage shelves, and I'm scratching my head to trying to imagine how I will accomplish these safety 'calisthenics'.

It should be the first thing a new chemist considers. Gosh I have a lot of work to do now. I am embarrassed to say I hadn't considered many of these incompatibilities.

Bench layout is another thing I don't see mentioned that often. In a discussion regarding the disappearance of Blogfast25, flammable solvents stored on the workbench was mentioned. It would be good if a newbie could find this stuff FIRST! There are a large number of rules and best practices that should be the first thing a newcomer learns.

Plastic Keck clips are not acid resistant... this is something you learn the hard way? I am here for this stuff, can't help wonder how many more like me there are.

One more thing... a section on etiquette. It took a long time to find out there was, or is a limit to the size a posted image should be, can't even recall where I saw it. And I've seen some folks mention in older posts that references should be sited when posting in some areas? Maybe these are older considerations, but if there are generally known rules of the road it might be helpful to collect them and offer them up at 'the point of entry'.

Hope I haven't gone on too long, and that this might be helpful. I don't know much about chemistry, but I do know a great deal about being new here <LOL>

[Edited on 9-21-2018 by JScott]

nimgoldman - 21-9-2018 at 13:03

I have purchased myself this book:

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science)

It explains the basic equipment, safety, chemical storage, resistance, hazard sentences, GHS symbols, important practices (e.g. writing a lab notes) and then moves on to basic experiments.

But when opening the book, I already knew most of it from YouTube, mostly binge watching NurdRage, Nile Red, Doug's Lab and other chemistry channels.

JScott - 22-9-2018 at 06:03


Rant removed after my 'better angels' had their way.

I've had a hell of day, my apologies. Out of line, here, again... sorry. :(

[Edited on 9-22-2018 by JScott]

[Edited on 9-22-2018 by JScott]