Girija Shankar Singh
University of Botswana – Gaborone (Botswana)
Abstract. The role of molecular models in teaching chemistry is well-known. It is widely used in explaining the shape of molecules. Several authors have reported the difficulty in teaching stereochemistry/chirality. Some researchers have pleaded that the students face difficulty in solving stereochemistry problems because of poor visualization of three-dimensional structure of molecules. The present paper describes herewith the use of simple and inexpensive ball-stick molecular models in teaching stereoisomerism (conformation, configuration, and chirality in allenes) of organic molecules at undergraduate introductory organic chemistry course. It specially describes the use of simplified molecular models in determining the configuration (R or S) of the molecule.
Keywords: chemistry-teaching/learning; molecular-models; conformation; configuration; chirality