Compound Chem Website

compound chem weekCompound chem provides a weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news.
The format is fun, eclectic and an interesting source of stories to enrich your classroom discussions.  The content is presented in an engaging and informative manner =, e.g,. posters that are useful to decorate your classroom, e.g, chemistry of chocolate or bread making.  Another fun feature is a periodic table of rejected chemical names.  Check it out!


World’s Roundest Object!

The world’s roundest object helps solve the longest running problem in measurement — how to define the kilogram.
A kilogram isn’t what it used to be. Literally. The original name for it was the ‘grave’, proposed in 1793 but it fell victim to the French Revolution like its creator, Lavoisier. So begins the tale of the most unusual SI unit. The kilogram is the only base unit with a prefix in its name, and the only one still defined by a physical artifact, the international prototype kilogram or IPK.

But the problem with this definition has long been apparent. The IPK doesn’t seem to maintain its mass compared to 40 similar cylinders minted at the same time. The goal is therefore to eliminate the kilogram’s dependence on a physical object. Two main approaches are being considered to achieve this end: the Avogadro Project and the Watt Balance.

The Avogadro project aims to redefine Avogadro’s constant (currently defined by the kilogram — the number of atoms in 12 g of carbon-12) and reverse the relationship so that the kilogram is precisely specified by Avogadro’s constant. This method required creating the most perfect sphere on Earth. It is made out of a single crystal of silicon 28 atoms. By carefully measuring the diameter, the volume can be precisely specified. Since the atom spacing of silicon is well known, the number of atoms in a sphere can be accurately calculated. This allows for a very precise determination of Avogadro’s constant.

Special thanks to Katie Green, Dr. David Farrant, the CSIRO, and the National Measurment Institute for their help. Thanks also to Nessy Hill for filming and reviewing earlier drafts of this video.

There is debate as to whether this is truly the roundest object ever created. The Gravity Probe-B rotors are also spherical with very low tolerances such that they may in fact be rounder.

Music by Kevin McLeod ( Decision, Danse Macabre, Scissors

Recycle Your Electronics Programs for Schools

recycle electrons kidsHi,
We are writing to you on behalf of Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) and Recycle Your Electronics.  
We hope that your school will be interested in having a Recycle Your Electronics educator visit your school to bring our program of education, interactive in-classroom games and activities to your grades four through eight classes.  
We are now booking FREE classroom visits in your area and we’d like to schedule a class at your school in the upcoming weeks. We are touring 250 schools in Ontario and we would like yours to be one of those. Last year we ran a 32 school assembly tour and a university tour to 5 different schools.
In our presentation, we’ll use videos, games and activities all geared around recycling education that dovetails with the curriculum approved education modules we’ll provide for follow up in your classroom.
Students will learn about:
  • Understanding elements and materials in everyday devices such as rare earth and precious metals.
  • The importance of end of life electronics recycling and participating in sustainability, right here in Ontario.
In addition, we’d also like to know if your school might like to participate in an Electronics Recycling Collection event. It’s a great fundraising program for schools where electronics are returned to the school by parents and families and schools receive funding based on collected materials. It’s a great way to tie in the teaching we’ll already be doing together. If you think your school might be interested in this second element of a collection event, we’ll have someone from OES get in touch with the school contact you provide and they’ll take it from there! 
Thanks once again for your interest in the program and your commitment to enhancing your students’ understanding of these critical issues, related to the science curriculum.
Here are a few videos to check out from last year.
Our overview of our 2016 program from
Recycle Your Electronics lets you look up the electronics recycling drop-off locations nearest you. Find out where you can take your old electronics today!
Recycle Your Electronics lets you look up the electronics recycling drop-off locations nearest you. Find out where you can take your old electronics today!
Our ‘Future is in Your Hands’ video featuring Alan Nursall
Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions
Angela Miele
Resonator on behalf of OES/Recycle Your Electronics

How Does Hairspray Work?

Thanks to chemistry, the products we use to clean and style our hair have evolved over decades — even centuries. How do hairsprays protect your hair while keeping it flexible and light? How do shampoos work, and why are some people choosing to dump the lather altogether? This week, “Ms. Beautyphile” Trina Espinoza and Lex Fleming from “Made U Look” join us in the New York City YouTube Space to explain the science behind hair care.

Find us on all these places: