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Three students and two faculty publish paper in chemistry journal

2020-10-05-Huddleston-Konzelman
Dr. Eric Huddleston, associate professor of chemistry at UNG, demonstrates the nylon rope trick. He and Dr. Jim Konzelman created a laboratory experiment with the nylon rope trick to teach students about polymer chemistry. The two faculty members and three students wrote a paper about the lab experiment, which published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Chemical Education in July 2020.

University of North Georgia (UNG) faculty members Dr. Eric Huddleston and Dr. Jim Konzelman had a simple idea. They created a laboratory experiment to teach students about polymer chemistry.

Their simple idea gained the attention of students. A trio of them — Ashley Allred, Joseph S. Holland and Avery G. Shupert — collaborated with Konzelman and Huddleston to pen a paper about the lab experiment, which published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Chemical Education in July 2020. It has been viewed 236 times.

"I am happy for the students, because they were authors on this paper," said Konzelman, professor of chemistry at UNG. "It was my first publication in this journal as a faculty member at UNG."

Konzelman and Huddleston paired up to create the experiment when they worked at UNG's Oconee Campus. Konzelman is based on the Oconee Campus while Huddleston is on the Dahlonega Campus.

Huddleston, associate professor of chemistry, explained it started with nylon rope trick.

"It's really cool to watch because it is like pulling rope out of a liquid," Huddleston said.

Konzelman added a twist. He used another polymer to stick to the nylon and protect it from being stained. The pair then applied the experiment to real-life examples.

"Carpet fibers are nylon and can get treated to repel stains," Huddleston said. "We treated one strand of nylon with polymer, which is a stain blocker, and one strand of nylon is not."

The hands-on experiment gave students real-life experience with polymer chemistry. Konzelman said it reinforced the concept to students, which now has been shared with other chemistry faculty across the country through the paper's publication.

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