P1033: Effective training and support of graduate teaching assistants and the role of the Head TA

Author: Jane E. Wissinger, University of Minnesota, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: LTT 103

Related Symposium: S77

Like many large PhD granting institutions, our first year graduate students have vastly different backgrounds from their undergraduate training, especially in laboratory techniques, green chemistry awareness, and teaching pedagogies. We have developed a four day training program as an introduction to our organic chemistry laboratory course which includes performing experiments, technique videos, and guided-inquiry teaching practices. The organic graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) then become involved in sharing ideas and tips during weekly meetings throughout the semester. Every two years we interview and hire a Head TA who is heavily involved in the training, supervision, and support of our organic GTAs. This role has been proven to be a powerful mechanism for the graduate students to demonstrate leadership, be involved in curriculum develop, build their own teaching philosophies, and ultimately gain employment in academia.

P136: Green synthesis of renewable, sustainable polymers for the organic chemistry laboratory

Author: Jane E. Wissinger, University of Minnesota, USA

Co-Author: Debbie Schneiderman, University of Minnesota, USA; Christa Blaquiere and Michael Wentzel, Augsburg College, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: LMH 114

Related Symposium: S7

δ-Decalactone and δ-dodecalactone are naturally occurring cyclic esters used by the flavor and fragrance industry for their creamy, coconut, peachy odor. We recently demonstrated that these lactones can be polymerized under mild, solvent-free, acid catalyzed conditions to homopolymers which can then serve as a midblock for chain extension with L-lactide (also a renewable monomer). A guided-inquiry experiment was developed that allowed students to compare the resulting triblock copolymers of these two lactones as well the effect of the % L-lactide incorporation targeted. Well resolved resonance in the 1H NMR for each polymer block provided an approximation of molecular weight and composition. IR and 13C NMR could also be used to observe the triblock copolymer structure. Overall, the experiment is amenable to the second year organic chemistry laboratory curriculum and instrumentation. This experiment provides a green alternative to traditionally hazardous polymer experiments and also highlights the need to replace the fossil-fuel derived plastics that engulf our society today. The topic of plastics and their negative effect on the environment and human health is engaging to students who recognize the need for new sustainable technologies. The synthesis shared exemplifies many of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry including the use of renewable feedstocks and design for degradation. δ-Decalactone and δ-dodecalactone are naturally occurring cyclic esters used by the flavor and fragrance industry for their creamy, coconut, peachy odor. We recently demonstrated that these lactones can be polymerized under mild, solvent-free, acid catalyzed conditions to homopolymers which can then serve as a midblock for chain extension with L-lactide (also a renewable monomer). A guided-inquiry experiment was developed that allowed students to compare the resulting triblock copolymers of these two lactones as well the effect of the % L-lactide incorporation targeted. Well resolved resonance in the 1H NMR for each polymer block provided an approximation of molecular weight and composition. IR and 13C NMR could also be used to observe the triblock copolymer structure. Overall, the experiment is amenable to the second year organic chemistry laboratory curriculum and instrumentation. This experiment provides a green alternative to traditionally hazardous polymer experiments and also highlights the need to replace the fossil-fuel derived plastics that engulf our society today. The topic of plastics and their negative effect on the environment and human health is engaging to students who recognize the need for new sustainable technologies. The synthesis shared exemplifies many of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry including the use of renewable feedstocks and design for degradation.