Theatrical Performance Adds Value to Chemistry Class
By: Mary Ann Cozza
Who knew drama and inorganic chemistry could blend so seamlessly?
The play tells the story of the invention of anesthesia and the relationship between two of the greatest medical inventors in Western history, Horace Wells and William Morton. The Ether Dome was a surgical amphitheater at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where in 1846 Morton, a dentist, first gave a patient ether to anesthetize him in preparation for surgery. This came following previous failed attempts with nitrous oxide (N2O) or laughing gas.
Matson said, "The goal of attending is to bring the human side of chemistry to life, as often the hard sciences can get lost in equations."
Following the show, the students will be required to find a scholarly article about N2O, summarize the article in one to two sentences, and as a class, add those sentences to Wikipedia in hopes of expanding its depth of knowledge on N2O.
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