P997: Ability of brassica rapa to phytoremediate cadmium

Author: Keith Kostecka, Columbia College Chicago, USA

Co-Author: Lyba Zia, Loyola University Chicago, USA

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 11:50 AM12:10 PM

Room: MAK A1117

Related Symposium: S70

Use of phytoremediative plants is one of the many techniques currently being investigated to help remove heavy metals from our soil. Though these studies have been done on a wide variety of plants, the ability (or inability) of Brassica rapa to remove cadmium from soil has not yet been investigated. With work done by Tidwell and Ayers on Brassica rapa’s ability to remove lead and arsenic through phytoremediation as a comparison, we [a partnership between a Columbia College Chicago faculty member and an ACS Project SEED II student] decided to investigate the ability of this plant to phytoremediate cadmium. To do so, three study groups of 25, 50 and 100 PPM of cadmium tainted soil were prepared; a control group with no added cadmium was also prepared. Seeds of Brassica rapa were then added to the 80 soil samples, watered and kept under continual ultraviolet light for 25 days until harvesting occurred. Plant material for each of the 80 samples was then subjected to acid digestion with the soil from each sample kept for potential future analysis. Atomic Absorption analysis of the plant samples showed that Brassica rapa did show an ability to phytoremediate cadmium for each of the three study groups in this project.

P882: Chemistry of science fiction – a course for the non-major

Author: Keith Kostecka, Columbia College Chicago, USA


Date: 8/6/14

Time: 2:45 PM3:05 PM

Room: MAN 102

Related Symposium: S62

Science fiction has enjoyed its place in American society for many years. In higher education, this study has been nearly exclusively limited to departments of Creative Writing, English, Film/Video, Biology and Physics. The Chemistry of Science Fiction, a course designed for students majoring in arts and communications fields at Columbia College Chicago, though has a significantly different emphasis – the use of science fiction to aid in the teaching of introductory concepts in chemistry. Accomplishing this is done through critical analysis of selected stories, novels and appropriate video “clips” for their chemical correctness. In this course, chemistry depicted in science fiction stories, novels, television programs and the cinema is utilized to teach chemical concepts in such areas as: atomic structure and the periodic table; reaction stoichiometry; nuclear chemistry; temperature and heat; acid/base and oxidation/reduction reactions; gases and their reactivities and also from nanotechnology. Students are required to complete a final, original course project that correctly depicts the chemistry seen in a science fiction “piece” that incorporates their interests, hobbies, talents and/or cultural backgrounds