P850: Using a context rich pedagogy to teach kinetics, quantum mechanics, and spectroscopy

Author: Elaine Marzluff and Mary Crawford, Grinnell College, USA and Knox College, USA


Date: 8/6/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: MAN 123

Related Symposium: S56

We report the development and implementation of coupled class and lab materials to introduce students to the interdisciplinary applications of physical chemistry. These materials, inspired by the Physical Chemistry with a Purpose series, combine a guided reading of a recent paper from the literature with a complementary laboratory experiment using inexpensive and modular laboratory equipment. We report on two modules: an introduction to nanomaterials and a spectroscopic study of complex kinetics. In the nanomaterials study, students synthesize and characterize quantum dots by measuring the emission spectra. In the classroom they do a guided reading of a paper demonstrating the use of quantum dots to detect toxins. In the complex kinetics module, students use absorbance spectroscopy to measure the kinetics of the Belousov-Zhabotinksy [BZ] reaction. They model this reaction first with a predator/prey relationship, and determine the kinetic parameters of the oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinksy [BZ] reaction. In the classroom, they discuss a paper on complex atmospheric kinetics. We will also report the results from pre and post test surveys of student attitudes, and assessments of learning outcomes. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF (DUE 1140326 and 1140327 ) for this project.

P620: Contextual and active learning in the introductory analytical course: The water module

Author: Leslie J. Lyons, Grinnell College, USA

Co-Author: Luther E. Erickson, Andrew Graham, Mark Levandoski, Martin Minelli, Elaine Marzluff, T. Andrew Mobley, Lee Sharpe and Stephen Sieck, Grinnell College, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 3:05 PM3:25 PM

Room: MAK A1117

Related Symposium: S50

Extending the 1995 NSF Systematic Change Initiative in Chemistry beyond the general chemistry course, Grinnell College has used a module about the ionic composition of drinking water in its introductory analytical course for many years. Here we contextualize applications of chemical analysis and link the measured concentrations of cations and anions in various water samples to the geological source, local environment, and human treatment/regulation of water. “What’s in your Water besides H2O?” is a four week, 5 laboratory module. The class and lab sessions place solubility equilibria side by side with chemical analyses for bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium, then water softening processes coupled to sodium analysis by atomic emission spectroscopy and analyses of chloride, nitrate, and fluoride with electrochemical analytical methods (potentiometric titration and ion selective electrodes). Finally, anion chromatography is used to determine the sulfate ion concentrations in water and apply a chromatographic analytical technique to a real sample. The Water Module culminates in student presentations which report the analytical results on 8 ions and contrast the concentrations found for the various water samples with the origins, treatments, and community reported results.

P570: Using an electronic notebook to foster collaboration

Author: Elaine Marzluff, Grinnell College, USA

Co-Author: Steve Sieck, Grinnell College, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 2:05 PM2:25 PM

Room: MAK B1120

Related Symposium: S40

We report on the use of electronic notebooks (ELN) at Grinnell College in physical chemistry, advanced organic chemistry and research groups to foster collaboration. We implemented the Cambridgesoft ELN product, as it was an inexpensive upgrade to our existing Chemdraw site license. Physical chemistry involves extensive data collection and analysis. The ELN allowed students to manage and track all of their data files, and create organized and clear laboratory notebooks. In Advanced Organic Chemistry, students work collaboratively on a multiweek total synthesis of a natural product. The ELN facilitated students’ ability to share both successful and unsuccessful reaction procedures and preparations. For research groups, we took advantage of the ability to share and refine procedures commonly used in research, and it provided an easy way for research advisors to readily see all of the student data. Students report that the e-notebook facilitated organization and collaboration, though there was some frustration with the learning curve. We will also report on some of the challenges associated with implementation.