Tips and tricks for cutting edge educators

Chemistry anyone?

This is something every chemistry student (and teacher) is going to love.  If you’re not a chemistry teacher – be sure to forward this on.

The new Microsoft Chemistry Add-in for Word was developed in partnership with the Unilever Centre for Molecular Science & Informatics at Cambridge University.

Chem for Word (as it is affectionately being called) allows you to easily author and explore chemical information from within Microsoft Word documents.  It provides a discipline specific language essential to scientific research, allowing the use of specific symbols and conventions to be used, and manipulated with staggering richness.

Once it’s installed from here (complimentary download), you’ll see a new tab will appear in the Word ribbon, titled Chemistry.

You will also notice when you right click on any section of the document, a new option appears “Convert to Chemistry Zone”.

You can right click on any term and convert it to a chemistry zone.  In the following example, I have simply typed the word “testosterone” into Word.  I’ve right clicked, selected “Convert to Chemistry Zone” so when I roll my mouse pointer over the word, it highlights as a chemistry zone. The dictionary of chemical entities (shipped with Chemistry for Word) recognizes the word, and allows me to represent this chemical entity in a variety of ways through the    option.  I could now view testosterone as a 2D representation:

or as a chemical notation: 

But that’s just for starters.  Now, I am able to start experimenting with atoms within the entity.  I can change isotopes, atom types, bonding types and visually explore how this will affect the entity I’m exploring.  It even brings up the full periodic table to help me select the right atom to create the entity I need.

It’s a lot more powerful than that so I’d love to hear from chemistry teachers about what else it allowed you to do in class.  Check out the video here for more information.


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