P783: Why Things Work: A course for all students

Author: Daniel King, Drexel University, USA


Date: 8/6/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: MAN 102

Related Symposium: S62

Many Liberal Arts chemistry courses are offered as simply watered-down (or less rigorous) versions of General Chemistry. Often these courses begin each Chapter or topic with an application designed to engage the students in the content. However, these courses typically maintain the structure of a traditional general chemistry course, including the order in which topics are taught. Why Things Work: Everyday Chemistry is a course taught to students from all majors and to students at all levels (freshman through senior). In this course, the curriculum is focused on everyday applications, such as glow sticks, hot and cold packs, air bags and sunscreen. Enough chemistry is presented to help students understand the application, and then we move on to another application. In this presentation, I will focus on two aspects of the course that help keep this diverse population engaged: in-class demonstrations and an end-of-term project. There is no lab associated with this course, but the students have the opportunity to perform hands-on activities during lecture, that help illustrate a chemistry concept. Materials are distributed to groups of 4-6 students, who perform an experiment at their desks. For the end-of-term project, students work in groups of 2-3 to create an advertisement for an everyday item, focusing on the chemistry of that item. The format of the advertisement is left open to the students. This flexibility has allowed the nonmajors to bring their own expertise to the project, resulting in advertisements in the form of infomercials, websites, brochures and billboards.

P97: Developing climate change activities in general chemistry

Author: Karen Anderson, Madison College, USA (Presented by: Daniel King, Drexel University, USA)

Co-Author: Daniel King, Drexel University, USA; Jennifer E Lewis and Janelle Arjoon, University of South Florida, USA; Douglas Latch, Seattle University, USA; Susan Sutheimer, Green Mountain College, USA; Gail Webster, Guilford College, USA; Cathy Middlecamp, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA; Richard Moog, Franklin and Marshall College, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: MAN 122

Related Symposium: S15

Through an NSF-funded project, collaborators from a variety of different types of institutions have written a series of in-class activities that use climate-change topics to teach general chemistry concepts via the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) approach. It is expected that these new activities will help engage students in learning fundamental general chemistry topics while establishing connections to climate-change concepts. Classroom testing began in Spring 2013. Feedback from the testing is being used to inform revisions to the parts of the activities that develop process skills such as information processing, communication and teamwork. This talk will show the key components of a sample activity and report on insights and challenges gained through preliminary feedback on this set of integrated activities.