Helping students connect the macroscopic level to the molecular level

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been well documented that for many students science is difficult to learn. Thus, as a food chemistry teacher, it has been my mission to continually search for and implement better ways to help my students learn chemistry. One strategy for improved learning, based on Johnstone's Triangle, that has been shown to be exceedingly effective, is to intentionally and explicitly provide students with opportunities to see and experience chemistry at the macroscopic level (things they can observe), so that they can make a more meaningful and lasting connection to the molecular level (things they cannot directly observe). Thus, the focus of this article is to share with you six demonstrations and one assignment that help make chemistry visible to students, providing them with a macromolecular manifestation of a molecular level property or event. Featured demonstrations are grouped into two categories: The Properties of Water Demonstrations (Water's #1 Superpower: Hydrogen Bonding) and The Phase Transitions of Water Demonstrations (Water's #2 Superpower: Shapeshifting). The assignment is modeled after the popular Unwrapped TV series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Food Science Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Johnstone's triangle
  • learning
  • science education
  • teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Helping students connect the macroscopic level to the molecular level'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this