Prof. Deon Miles and Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Grady Wells recently wrote an article published in the Journal of Chemical Education entitled “Lab-in-a-Box: A Guide for Remote Laboratory Instruction in an Instrumental Analysis Course”. The article was submitted in response to a call for articles in a special issue entitled “Insights Gained While Teaching Chemistry in the Time of COVID-19”. This paper describes a homemade kit for conducting remote laboratory instruction in the instrumental analysis course. The motivation behind the construction of the kit was in response to the lack of commercially available options for the instrumental analysis course.
The abstract for the article is provided below:
Hands-on learning in a laboratory is an integral part of the undergraduate experience for chemistry students. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an opportunity for this approach was not possible. The pandemic has been forcing instructors to explore the remote setting instead of the laboratory. There are several commercially available kits for remote laboratory instruction in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Kits provide students with a majority of necessary items to conduct scientific experiments in their homes. Unfortunately, there are no commercially available kit options for laboratory exercises in an instrumental analysis course. Here, we describe a homemade kit that focuses on two important pillars of instrumental analysis: spectroscopy and chromatography. The total cost of the kit is about 700 USD; this amount can be reduced significantly if a “do-it-yourself” spectrometer is employed instead of a commercial model. Details about kit contents and experiments performed are described.