December 6, 2022

ChemSketch for Science Teachers

butyneWhen teaching Chemistry or Biology (Living Environment, etc.) the preparation of professional-quality class materials can be challenging when we want to generate images of molecules.  My solution is ChemSketch from ACD/Labs.  (Just Google it!)  There is a free-ware version which may be downloaded and installed on your PC or Mac.  I am very comfortable with technology, so I was able to have it installed pretty quickly, and the learning curve wasn’t very steep.  Within a couple of hours I was able to produce quality the drawings as you see here plus many more.  I may be presenting examples that are more complex than what you need.  For people who are less confident with technology it might be nice to work together with a colleague or perhaps a technology specialist.

ChemSketch has a lot to offer besides just organic molecules.  For example, there is a library of sketches of laboratory apparatus that could be very useful for creating labs.  There is much more that I will explore in the future.

I did find one shortcoming.  I wanted to export my images as simple jpg or png files, and I could not find a way to that.  My work-around was to take screen shots which generally have poorer quality especially if enlarged.  Maybe the premium commercial version has more to offer, but the price if probably too high for a typical high-school science department. Considering the price of free I am all too willing to accept this inconvenience.

ester synthesis

To view a dry-lab exercise for working with organic compounds and functional groups Student/Chemistry/Organic Compounds.

To download a PDF version of the same  visit Teacher/Chemistry/Organic Compounds.