P1023: Science as service: Combining service learning with research in artisanal gold mining camps

Author: Adam M. Kiefer, Mercer University, USA

Co-Author: Kevin Drace, Mercer University, USA

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: MAK A1161

Related Symposium: S75

Artisanal and small-scale gold miners in developing nations often utilize large amounts of elemental mercury to separate gold from gangue minerals. Globally, these small-scale gold miners are recognized as the number one point source for mercury emissions. Oftentimes mercury contaminated waste is discharged directly into streams and the gold amalgams are “burned” over an open flame, resulting in volatized mercury being breathed in by miners and members of the mining community. Over the last five years, we have developed rigorous service-learning projects in Mozambique and Ecuador that directly engage Mercer University undergraduate students in chemistry research, while providing miners with presentations on how to “safely” work with mercury and use retorts to capture volatilized mercury. During this talk we will discuss the Mercer on Mission programs to artisanal mining communities and highlight the research and service components of these experiences.

P253: Gamification of the organic synthesis project at Mercer University part I: Design and implementation

Author: Adam M. Kiefer, Mercer University, USA

Co-Author: David R. Goode, Mercer University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 4:00 PM4:20 PM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

In 2012, the organic chemistry faculty at Mercer University altered our longstanding Organic Synthesis Project (OSP) as a result of increased enrollment, increased costs and waste management, and safety concerns. In spite of these concerns we wanted to maintain a project that has students 1) search and read the primary literature, 2) write a proposal for a three-step reaction sequence based upon the primary literature, 3) attempt to carry out their proposed reaction sequence and 4) disseminate their findings to the class. In order to fulfill these objectives, the faculty gamified the laboratory experience with a zombie theme. This presentation highlights the development and implementation of this gamification strategy.

P254: Gamification of the organic synthesis project at Mercer University part II: Assessment and perceptions

Author: David R. Goode, Mercer University, USA

Co-Author: Adam M. Kiefer, Mercer University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 4:20 PM4:40 PM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

The gamification of the Organic Synthesis Project at Mercer University represented a significant change from previous iterations of the project. Student, faculty, and laboratory assistant perceptions of the project have been assessed. Preliminary results indicate that this experience has been beneficial for student learning and confidence in the laboratory. In addition, the faculty members have noticed a decrease in logistical work, which has allowed them to focus more time on student learning. The presentation will present the assessment strategy and results from the first two years of implementation.