We spend a lot of time talking about plants in response to the way they appear. We draw them and try to match their colors.
But what makes them appear they way they do? Smell the way they do? Behave the way they do?
Answers to these questions can be found at Compound Interest, a blog by chemistry teacher Andy Brunning dedicated to the chemistry of everyday life.
Brunning’s explanations of chemical properties and processes are extremely clear and easy to understand. He accomplishes this through the use of infographics he designs himself. His informative graphics have been featured by several media outlets and are organized into the following categories:
- Food Chemistry
- Alcohol Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Everyday Chemistry
- Colourful Chemistry
- Aroma Chemistry
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Underserved Reputations
- Cosmetic Chemistry
- Other Graphics
Of particular interest to our community of artists, naturalists and educators involved in plant-based and environmental education are the infographics about chilli, onion, coffee, tea, asparagus, chocolate, coriander, lemon, grapefruit, beet root, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, avocado, inorganic paint pigments, cut grass, the scent of the sea, the chemistry of catnip, the compounds of herbs and spices, and this week’s post about the chemicals behind the colors of autumn leaves.
Brunning’s infographics are available for educators to use for free. Packaged collections are available for purchase at the Compound Interest store, as are posters and Chemistry Spice Labels.
Add Compound Interest to your teaching toolbox!
- A Brunning. (2014, September 11). The Chemicals Behind the Colours of Autumn Leaves. Retrieved from