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Author: Subject: Taking on and teaching an an assistant
chemist1243
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[*] posted on 24-8-2021 at 08:09
Taking on and teaching an an assistant


A very intelligent friend of mine is aspiring to do chemistry. I have access to great lab setup, and because he is my dearest friend I would like to guide him into the craft and teach him to be proficient in home chemistry.

He has a little experience, but can’t really do much on his own. I wanna teach him to properly make solubility tables, carry out extractions, know which kind of solvents to use for different things, etc etc. he knows a bit of theory, like polarity and how nucleophiles/electrophiles work, but that of course doesn’t help much here. He needs practical experience.

So, how should I start? Should I dive into a simple experiment and teach him along the way, or maybe just get him to memorize some common chemicals and their properties? He’s an extremely fast learner and will pick up ideas easily, but I still wanna have some structure in my teaching.
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Oxy
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[*] posted on 24-8-2021 at 08:36


You can use university lab manual and do some theory and practice on all basic procedures (various types of distillation, purification, chromatography etc) and preparations.
Personally I think if anyone want to do more than replicate there is a need of good understanding what is happening and why, so the theory is must have.
Regarding lab procedures - there is a lot of movies on yt which show how to perform various tasks.
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Jenks
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[*] posted on 24-8-2021 at 09:58


Follow your student's interest. The main role of a teacher is to motivate the student. So I suggest asking him what would be an interesting project, and then let him learn all the chemistry that is essential to that project. And congratulations - the best way to learn is to teach.
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macckone
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[*] posted on 24-8-2021 at 12:11


Robert Thompson's books are good starting points.
Some classic chemistry demos could be good too.

I would start with some basic displacement reactions and purifications.
Those are so necessary that everyone needs to learn them.


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