To understand the students' mind-set, one has to think like a student. That is why every teacher is first a student and then a teacher.
In one of the top research establishments in India, it is the periodic interviews that motivated the scientists to take interest in general things also apart from their specialities. Weekly seminars also keep one abreast.
Questions asked in interviews range from the difficult ones to test their speciality to simple ones which will probe their mind Let us take a sampling. What is Avogadro's number? What is sin? What is the mass of the photon? etc.
The same questions are asked by the students. How does one make the student understand this mysterious number of atoms in one mole of any substance?
One has to start with simple examples, if a match stick, weighs 40 mg, what is the number of matches in 4 g? more...