ChemSketch – Student’s first attempts 2015

September 29, 2015

Honestly I’m not a fan of sharing student work in general (I think that sharing has limited value) however this is one of the rare occasions I like to.

Because I am so fond of ChemSketch, I like my Introduction to Organic Chemistry students to have a go and grapple with it. Each year I set Organic Worksheet 02c that offers an extremely brief introduction to the program, and then asks each student to produce 10 molecules that match certain criteria, namely these;

  • A four carbon, (Z) hydrocarbon (only C’s and H’s)
  • A di-substituted benzene molecule
  • A di-halogen substituted, six carbon, alkane
  • A seven carbon carboxylic acid, that includes a multiple (double or triple) carbon to carbon bond
  • A four carbon aldehyde
  • A four carbon ketone
  • A seven carbon ester
  • An amide that includes a ring of some description
  • An eight carbon branched alkane
  • A three carbon chiral molecule with (S) designation

This list acts as a reminder on some functional groups, and slips in a bit more practice on stereoisomerism.

ChemSketch Screenshot

ChemSketch is a tremendously powerful tool for a freeware, and it offers all of the functionality (and way beyond) that a class like mine will ever need. The program relatively intuitive, but does take a little time to master, at least in terms of producing aesthetically pleasing structures. For a first, cold effort, I think my students did a pretty good job! Most of the structures in the documents below could use some ‘tidying’, but I think that they got a lot out of the exercise.

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