As a project in the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), the ChemCollective's goals are to support a community of instructors interested in improving chemistry education through interactive and engaging online activities.

Paper-and pencil homework typically emphasizes applying formulas— a process that can become routine and disconnected from the reality and fun of doing chemistry. In contrast, simulation-based exercises offer new ways to promote learning and motivation. Interactive exercises can allow students to explore and reinforce fundamental concepts in contexts that are increasingly complex, realistic, and engaging. Our goal is to create flexible, interactive learning environments where college and high school students can approach chemistry more like practicing scientists.

Brief History

The Chemistry Collective began with the IrYdium Project's Virtual Lab in 2000, which provides a flexible simulation so that instructors may use it for a great variety of student activities. The project evolved to create scenario-based learning activities designed to provide interactive, engaging materials that link chemistry concepts to the real world.

The project leader is Dr. David Yaron, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon. Many of the original activities on this site were developed by a group at Carnegie Mellon, including Yaron, experienced software engineers, undergraduate programmers, educational consultants, and technical writers.

Many Virtual Lab activities were also designed by contributors from other universities, including a number from Robert Belford, Jordi Cuadros and Sophia Nussbaum. The Virtual Lab was recognized in 2003 with MERLOT's Classic Award in chemistry and Editor's Choice for exemplary software across all disciplines. In 2010, the ChemCollective won the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) award.

Current Team Members:

  • Prof. David Yaron, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dr. Ryan Dwyer, University of Mount Union
  • Sandra Raysor, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Dr. Gaea Leinhardt, University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr. James G. Greeno, University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr. Jordi Cuadros, Institut Químic de Sarrià
  • Dr. Jodi Davenport, West Ed
  • Dr. Sophia Nussbaum, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Rea Freeland, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dr. John Portman, Kent State University
  • Dr. Laura Bartolo, Kent State University
  • Dr. Colin Ashe, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Don Sadoway, MIT
  • Dr. Craig Carter, MIT
  • Dr. Beatrix Aukszi, Florida Atlantic University
  • Dr. Bob Belford, University of Arkansas, Little Rock
  • Nadine Fattaleh-Diggs, Clark College, Vancouver, WA
  • Wendy Freeman, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
  • Dr. Bert Ramsay, Eastern Michigan University

Previous Project Team Members

  • Donovan Lange,
  • Michael Karabinos,
  • D. Jeff Milton,
  • Emma Rehm,
  • Tim Palucka,
  • David H. Dennis,
  • William P. McCue,
  • Giancarlo Dozzi,
  • Amani Ahmed,
  • Katie Chang,
  • Alexander Chen,
  • Jason Chalecki,
  • Greg Hamlin,
  • Joshua Horan,
  • Rohith Ashok,
  • John Tunison,
  • Jason McKesson,
  • Agnes Wong,
  • Vincent Leung,
  • Stephen Ulrich,
  • Jon Sung,
  • Aaron Rockoff,
  • Jean Vettel,
  • Eddie Bergin,
  • Jacob Mohin,
  • Dustin Haffner,
  • Bridget Hogan,
  • Chun How Tan,
  • Leah C. Hayes,
  • Bill Ge,
  • Sam Bramson,
  • Seon Mee Joo,
  • Soojin Jeong,
  • Julia Teitelbaum,
  • Kirk Zhang,
  • Keith Williams,
  • Jason Yan,
  • Samantha Landen,
  • Xiyang Zhao,
  • Samantha Ticknor,
  • Abhishek Chadha,
  • Jason Yan and
  • Scott Rohrer