WELCOME to The Catalyst!

Subject: PowerPoint Use In Chemistry Lectures

In response to a presentation I saw by some friends in the business world, I have begun using Microsoft PowerPoint to supplement my lecturing this year. I use it in place of overhead transparencies, to add to what I write on the chalkboard. It has opened up new opportunities for creatively adding to the material I used to present. Not every topic lends itself to a good PowerPoint presentation, but some topics can be more creatively presented with the aid of this new medium. The possibilities for what you can use in your presentations are limited only by your creativity and available technology. (See also HyperStudio Use In Chemistry.)

To present the material I connect one of the computers in my classroom directly to a new television I received as part of a grant. (An adaptor must be used if your TV isn't computer ready.) I proceed through the slides as the lecture progresses (sometimes a student helper who isn't part of the class helps me). The students seem to enjoy the novelty of presenting material this way, although it takes some experimenting to find the best combination of font size and color, and background color so that they can see everything clearly. Another option for presenting, which is becoming more common, is to use an LCD projector connected directly to the computer.

  • Discovery of the Atom [ view ]
  • Discovery of the Atom (part 2)
  • Gas Laws [ view ]
  • Measurement [ view ]
  • The History of the Modern Periodic Table
  • The History of the Modern Periodic Table v2
  • NOTE: to view the PowerPoint files on some computers requires the Microsoft PowerPoint Animation Player

Michael Geyer (m_geyer@thecatalyst.org)
Deer Park High School, Cincinnati, OH