Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Complaining about the number of organic reactions I ask you to learn?

Every summer during my Introduction to Organic Chemistry elective, I ask the students to memorize a small catalog of 21 reactions that they then apply in various scenarios. One of the ways I attempt to help them to make connections and build that knowledge is via the use of a ‘Star of Reaction‘. A Star of Reaction shows the links between various compounds and the reagents and conditions required to achieve the transformations. A typical ‘star’ (as part of a worksheet I use) is shown below.

Star

It’s not an easy task to memorize all of the reactions, especially since I ask the students to do it VERY quickly, but they always rise to the occasion and do really well. I often tell them that the catalog that I ask them to consume is ridiculously small compared to what they will be asked to in many Organic 101 classes, and a tweet from yesterday (below) reminded me of the sheer volume of reactions that are typically studied at the next level.

Organic Mind Map Tweet

Organic Mind Map Tweet

Here’s the document it links to. Enjoy!