Do your students know that spectrophotometry can “reveal hidden colors” that are invisible to the human eye? The next time you begin your lesson, this could be an interesting fact to start off the topic with! Spectrophotometers can detect and measure light across a wide range of wavelengths, including ultraviolet and infrared regions. By analyzing the absorption and transmission of light by a sample, spectrophotometers can unveil subtle color variations that our eyes are unable to perceive. While the instrument is called a spectrophotometer, the technique is referred to as spectrophotometry.
While this technique with its remarkable capability has found applications in various fields ranging from analyzing pigments in artworks to identifying trace amounts of chemicals in environmental samples, it can be a little overwhelming for new learners. So, we list 5 creative ways here to simplify teaching the core concepts of this subject to your students in the next session.
Interactive models and simulations are great options to revolutionize the teaching of spectrophotometry and spectrophotometers. They can captivate students' attention as:
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Gamification elements are other great elements to simplify the complex and core ideas of spectrophotometry. By infusing fun and interactive games and activities into the learning process, educators can make complex concepts more accessible.
Through Labster’s educational games, teachers like Shawn Zeringue have been able to deliver important points on scientific topics. In the Labster’s Spectrophotometer Game, as the students assemble their spectrophotometer, they can learn how the device uses light for measuring the concentration of different solutions. They can also understand a spectrophotometer’s functioning, and its major components and correlate them to their functions which can otherwise be quite boring.
To engage students in the modern era, infusing technology into study plans presents an innovative approach to teaching spectrophotometry and spectrophotometers. Virtual labs like Labster’s and software applications enable students to conduct virtual spectrophotometry experiments in a safe and cost-effective environment while also promoting flexible learning and self-paced study.
Incorporating technology into study plans not only keeps students actively engaged but also prepares them for the digital age, equipping them with essential technological literacy and skills.
One of the notable features of “Virtual Explorations” is that they allow the exploration of complex and inaccessible scenarios, such as analyzing the absorption properties of rare compounds or studying phenomena at extreme wavelengths. This virtual exploration expands students' horizons, igniting their curiosity and encouraging them to delve deeper into the subject.
Educators can also rely on a time-tested approach of connecting the topic to its career prospects to showcase its value and benefits of learning it. You can highlight the diverse career opportunities where skills to handle a spectrophotometer are highly looked out for:
Educators can motivate their students to learn the underlying principles of spectrophotometry by connecting the topic to its real-world applications. By showcasing the paramount importance of this technique in various fields like research, medicine, environmental monitoring, art restoration, chemical manufacturing, etc, you can initiate your students onto a journey of self-learning.
Several things can be planned to do this:
Spectrophotometry is an amazing technique that truly expands our perception of color, uncovering a vibrant world beyond our visual spectrum. While all of us have used it in our undergraduate, post-graduate, and graduate research works, we can’t ignore its importance in Biology labs. For the next-gen scientists (our students) to be well-versed with the scientific principles underlying the functioning of spectrophotometers, educators must adopt creative approaches to make the topic easier and more comprehensible.
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