P228: ChemBio – An integration of chemistry and biology labs for college freshmen

Author: Graeme R. A. Wyllie, Concordia College, USA


Date: 8/4/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: MAK A1165

Related Symposium: S26

Where do we draw the line between chemistry and biology? Call it biochemistry or molecular biology, isn’t it just the same thing with different names and labels? At Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, we have developed a unique lab program for incoming freshman students which combines the previously separate general chemistry and molecular biology labs in first semester into a twice weekly lab which attempts to bridge what was previously seen as a gap or disconnect between chemistry and biology and provide a common shared framework to investigate these problems. The lab focuses on modules which investigate themes such as the cell, transport, proteins, concentration and encourages students to see both the biological and chemical aspects of each experiment. Many of the experiments also contain a significant environmental theme, an ideal topic to study in given the intersection of chemistry and biology therein. We are now at the end of our third year of this course and the lab program has developed significantly over this time and in this talk, we will describe both these positive changes and the parts which did not work along the way along with assessment data on student learning goals. The development of this course was supported by the NSF STEP grant #0969568