P935: Comprehension versus confusion: How word choice influences learning

Author: Alexandra Ormond, Meredith College, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

The language used by professors in a general chemistry classroom may not complement the language students see on the text and exams, creating disparities between student learning and testing. Additional problems may arise from the vocabulary students hear in a chemistry classroom versus a non-STEM environment. To the professors, scientific vocabulary comes naturally and extra explanation of terms is not required. To students, however, the same vocabulary may be foreign, confusing, or have a different meaning in another discipline. An overview of the previous concerns for chemistry language and common vocabulary words can assist in improving the modern classroom communication among professors and students to help align lecture, text, and testing vernacular. Aside from vocabulary words, another setback arises when students have difficulty tackling word problems on homework or exams. The wording may unnecessarily complicate the question and hinder student success. Examples of successful word problem solving techniques in general chemistry will also be addressed in this presentation.

P926: Teaching analytical techniques to high school students via hands-on research projects

Author: Alexandra Ormond, Meredith College, USA

Co-Author: Erica Vogel, Meredith College, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Often, students do not have opportunities to work on a research project until they reach college and many cannot grasp what a research project entails. A group of junior and senior high school students will have the opportunity to work on research projects in the chemistry lab over six weeks during the summer. These students do not have a thorough understanding of organic chemical structures or analytical chemistry, but they will be expected to work with chemicals and analytical equipment, including UV-vis, FTIR, HPLC, and a fluorometer. An overview will be given of what makes a chemical organic and why chemical analysis is important. Within the short six weeks, the students will learn the background and theory of the analytical instruments at a sufficient level for high school students. They will experience the differences in sample preparation per instrument, and will have a chance to operate these instruments with supervision. The level of sufficiency has to be first identified and the approach of how to efficiently accomplish these undertakings will be addressed.