Study Putty: Chemistry Activities for Home and Classroom

“Memorization” is a foul word in education. Students hate doing it. Teachers hate that their students spend so much time trying to cram data into their noggins when the point is really the concept, not the vocab. But this doesn’t change the fact that mastering ‘vocabulary’ — whether it be definitions, abbreviations, symbols, or formulas — is a crucial hurdle students must get over.

“Critical thought, evaluation, and synthesis all sit on the backbone of vocabulary.”
Rachel Watson,
Professional Academic Lecturer, Dept. of Molecular Biology at the University of Wyoming, non-fan of rote memorization, and creator of her own open courseware

studputscreen

Matching names and formulae of common polyatomic ions.

Easing the student’s memorization burden is the idea behind Study Putty, our set of online learning activities currently under development and available for students to use.

Study Putty provides several straightforward ways to memorize information. It’s not a game or a sim, it’s just a variety of memorization activities for fundamental facts prerequisite to mastering important concepts. We are starting with the subject of chemistry and looking to grow into other fields. Our chemistry activities are designed to get the dirty job of memorization done so the student can move on with labs, with class, with life. All of our activities are free to use.

Chemistry topics currently offered at Study Putty include:

  • The Elements
  • Common Polyatomic Ions
  • Acids
  • Bases
  • Significant Digits
  • The First Ten Straight-Chained Hydrocarbons

But just because we are all about getting the unpleasant deed of studying done, it doesn’t mean we’re all straight-faced business either. Unlike certain other study apps, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Demonstrating our sappy inspirational feedback option. Also available: Shakespearean insults, among other things.

Demonstrating our sappy inspirational feedback option. Also available: Shakespearean insults, among other things.

Identify significant digits in SigFig, also on Study Putty. Sig is a Fig. Get it?

Identify significant digits in SigFig, also on Study Putty. Sig is a Fig. Get it?

Also unlike certain existing study apps, our content is reviewed by our staff and by collaborating educational professionals. We don’t regurgitate student-created content that may or may not be complete, correct, or even all that helpful to another person. To this end we ask interested educators and specialists to provide feedback on our content, and to suggest new content. Are you looking for a memorization list for a topic we don’t yet have? Email us with what you’re looking for at support@sherprog.com. We are just starting out and growing, so at this early stage we appreciate all of the direction, help, and support we can get.

We are starting with chemistry topics, but it is our goal to expand into other subjects, especially pharmacy and nursing.

Study Putty is a product of the Sheridan Programmers Guild, a small startup located in Sheridan, WY, and we appreciate your support.

Where the cool kids go to scrape by on tests.

About Bret Norwood

Bret Norwood is a staff blogger for Learning Laboratory in addition to other roles, including UI design and content development for Study Putty, our free memorization tool for chemistry and many other course topics. He is also a published writer of literary fiction–see BretNorwood.com

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One Response to Study Putty: Chemistry Activities for Home and Classroom

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