P415: Green Chemistry education: Not just for chemists anymore
Students on campuses around the world are expressing a strong interest in sustainability, and are often frustrated by the lack of knowledge and intellectual tools available to facilitate decision-making and innovation in this area. At the same time, employers are seeking employees with greater familiarity with sustainable innovation. Educators realize that sustainable chemical innovation is complex and requires a broad and sophisticated mix of approaches and educational strategies. Green chemistry offers an important set of design principles that successfully fuels sustainable innovation. To date, green chemistry education has been targeted at chemistry courses, in particular organic and general chemistry labs. At the University of Oregon, we have been exploring the integration of green chemistry across the university curriculum as a way to drive innovation by clarifying the connections between societal needs and chemical solutions. As the audience for green chemistry expands beyond the traditional chemistry curriculum, educators will be challenged to design innovative educational materials that meet the growing demand for knowledge and intellectual tools to address sustainable development. During this presentation I will describe what we have learned from infusing green chemistry into professional courses including product design, architecture and journalism and communications. I will describe the exciting opportunities and challenges associated with this work and also highlight some of the emerging design strategies that are proving catalytic in developing new educational materials to meet the emerging demand.