The Big Picture Podcasts


From the authors of the “conceptual” line of science textbooks, this podcast series focuses on the important added benefits one receives when learning the concepts of science within a learning community. This includes improved thinking skills and social skills too. We not only help students prepare for their next exam, we also work to distill the flavor of the overall college experience. This podcast series is a thoughtful step back—a reflection on the meaning of one’s education, which we call the big picture.


Our content-rich podcasts are informal, yet professionally recorded and engineered in stereo and with music. Thank you for subscribing or for downloading the audio file to your portable device. Although we direct our attention to the student, we expect instructors and life-long learners will also find these podcasts of great interest. There are two segments to each episode. This includes the “Back Story” where we interview interesting people as we discuss the deeper aspects of learning. This is followed by “Do the Review” where we walk through the pages of each chapter providing commentary and insight. Thank you for your support and helping to spread the word about our Big Picture Podcast series. We are starting with Conceptual Chemistry, which will be followed by efforts with our other conceptual titles.


Chem 101: Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 01, How to Study Effectively

Chapter 01 (Episode 01): Introduction and How to Study Effectively

Show Notes

This first episode presents effective study strategies, such as delayed retrieval, interleaving, and step 1 / step 2 learning. This is followed by a review of the first chapter of the Conceptual Chemistry textbook including topics such as the scientific method, basic and applied research, and unit conversion. Advice on how to make good use of the traditional science textbook is also provided.


Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning,  Peter C. Brown, et. al. The Belknap Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0674729018.

How To Study Effectively, John Suchocki, 2018.


PDF: Chem101BPP01

Chem 101: Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 02, The Anthropology of Learning

Chapter 02 (Episode 02): The Anthropology of Learning


Show Notes

Description: From the authors of the “conceptual” line of science textbooks, in this second episode we discuss the how cognitive “frames” color our worldview. Recognizing these frames can help us to remain open to new ideas. The yet to be recognized term “collective causation” is used as an example of hypocognition. This is followed by a review of Chapter 2 of Conceptual Chemistry relating to the particulate nature of matter.

References: Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind, Michael Gazzaniga, Richard B. Ivery, George R. Mangun, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, 2019.

Culture and the Individual: Theory and Method of Cultural Consonance, William W. Dressler, Routledge, New York, NY, 2018.

Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, George Lakoff, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 2014.


“Draw the picture, build the frame Write the words, remember the names Everything that happened, happened as such Feather weight emotions just to touch You could never see it since you are there When outside die is beyond compare Eagles eye, end of the sky People see what they see, still ask why Frames of thought, frames of mind Trapped inside, trace the lines Old world, enter outside Own your truth, no need to hide No eyewitness I can see Fresh for the times, be who I be Make a timeline then break free Own yourself, you can never own me.: Noah Haspray April 2019

Transcript: PDF: Chem101BPP02

Chem 101: Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 03, Team-based Learning

Chapter 03 (Episode 03): Team-based Learning

Show Notes

Description: From the authors of the “conceptual” line of science textbooks, in this third episode we interview Brian Pritchard an expert in the area of team based activities and human performance. Attention is given to the value of team-based learning in the classroom and beyond. This is followed by a review of Conceptual Chemistry’s foundational Chapter 3, Elements of Chemistry. Topics include physical and chemical changes, the periodic table, elements and compounds, mixtures, and nanotechnology.


Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, Doubleday & Company, New York, NY, 1946.

The Fifth Discipline: The art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge, Penguin Random House, New York, NY, 2006.

“We will never transform the prevailing system of management without transforming our prevailing system of education. They are the same system.”   W. Edwards Deming


PDF: Chem101BPP03

Chem 101: The Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 04a, Academic Endurance

Chapter 04a (Episode 04): Academic Endurance

Show Notes

We are now publishing the “Back Story” and “Do the Review” segments of each chapter as separate podcasts. This means the episode number will start to diverge from the chapter number. For this fourth backstory episode (Episode 04) we interview Stephanie Blake, a science professor from Ozarks Technical College in Springfield, Missouri. The subject matter: Academic Endurance. Learn from Professor Blake how best to strengthen your academic endurance. It has everything to do with working within a community and enjoying the journey. Duration: 30 min 54 sec.


Year of Yes, How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person, Shondra Rhimes, Simon and Schuster Publishing, New York, 2016.



Chem 101: The Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 04b, Subatomic Particles

Chapter 04b (Episode 05): Subatomic Particles

Show Notes

Here in episode 5 we review the first half of chapter 4 of Conceptual Chemistry. We start by reviewing the conceptual model, which describes how a system behaves. We then explore some of the history behind the discovery of subatomic particles. This episode concludes with a review of the vocabulary associated with subatomic particles, including atomic number and atomic mass number. Duration: 30:55.

Transcripts (pdf):

Chapter 04b (Episode 05)


Chem 101: The Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 04c, Atoms and Quantum Theory

Chapter 04c (Episode 06): Atoms and Quantum Theory

Show Notes

This episode features a review of the second half of Chapter 4 of Conceptual Chemistry. It begins with the nature of light followed by the idea that energy itself is quantized, which means it occurs in packets. We then explore the wave nature of electrons and how this explains an element’s spectral fingerprint as well as the organization of the periodic table. Duration: 42:25.

Transcripts (pdf):


Chem 101: The Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 05

Release Date: June 2019

Chem 101: The Big Picture Podcast, Chapter 06

Release Date: July 2019