What we’re learning from you


Earlier this year hundreds of you responded to our reader survey. Thank you to everyone who contributed. The results have been analysed and will be used to inform EiC’s direction from 2017.

Your responses have helped us to find out more about you, our audience; how you access EiC across all our media; the types of articles you like and value the most; and how we can adapt articles to meet your changing needs.

In particular, we learned how much you appreciate our teaching resources, demonstrations and professional development articles. We will use the results to help us develop what you see in EiC to make it even more useful to you. Our aim is to support your chemistry teaching and ensure that EiC continues to help you deliver an enriched curriculum to your students.

Inorganic tests and robots in the lab

We all know the importance of developing good practical skills as chemists. In the CPD article this issue, Joe Ogborn looks at a range of inorganic chemical tests and how these can also be used to help students develop problem solving skills. Joe explores techniques that become progressively more difficult by building them into successive activities. These can help students make connections between what they may have perceived to be unrelated topics and so develop their understanding of the macroscopic and microscopic world of chemistry.

Remaining with practical activities in the classroom, Leroy Cronin and his colleagues from the University of Glasgow are investigating robotic chemistry kits and how chemistry education could benefit from their use in school labs. They think these low-cost kits will help teachers with limited resources as well as providing opportunities to include enquiry-based learning activities.

Supporting students and space spectroscopy

Anne Marie Farrell and Michael Seery explain how to make chemical language easier and to meet students’ language and literacy needs within chemistry. They acknowledge classes often contain a diversity of students with a range of learning difficulties such as dyslexia or autism, visual or hearing impairments that may impact on their learning. Anne Marie and Michael suggest a universal design for learning that can make chemistry more accessible to all learners.

A lot of exciting science has been going on in space recently, specifically on a funny shaped rock very far away. We find out more about the mass spectrometer on board the Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae lander and how the analysis it carries out can help answer some of life’s biggest questions. Comets themselves are debris left over from the formation of the solar system – by studying these fragments, we can gain an insight into what the solar system is made of and how the Earth started out 4.5 billion years ago.