P937: Chemistry seminar: A tool for integrating undergraduate research into the curriculum

Author: Kimberly A. Lawler-Sagarin, Elmhurst College, USA

Co-Author: Michelle S. Applebee, Ami D. Johanson, Eugene N. Losey and Colleen Munro-Leighton, Elmhurst College, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Our department recently added a research requirement to the chemistry major. To support this change, we replaced our four-semester seminar requirement with a developmental series of courses. Each of the new courses has distinct learning objectives and assignments. The developmental structure supports our research requirement by bracketing the research experience with preparatory assignments and culminating experiences. The new sequence also supports the structured development of professional skills such as oral communication, information literacy, scientific writing, and research ethics. These changes have had many positive benefits; students are more prepared for research when they enter the lab, they proactively seek out internships and other career development opportunities, and they pursue non-required research at a higher rate than before. All this has created a vibrant research culture among the students. Based on our experience, we believe our model may be a viable one for other small departments seeking to embed undergraduate research more firmly in the curriculum.

P380: Professional development of oral communication skills through the use of three-minute slides

Author: Michelle S. Applebee, Elmhurst College, USA

Co-Author: Kimberly A. Lawler-Sagarin and Ami Johanson, Elmhurst College, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 6:00 PM7:15 PM

Room: KC

Related Symposium: S33

Strong oral communication skills are essential for chemists. Developing oral communication skills at the undergraduate level requires building confidence in a student’s ability to speak extemporaneously without relying on notecards or reading verbatim from slides. Repeatedly throughout a two-year seminar course, students present three-minute slides on a variety of chemical topics. The three-minute slides are graphical slides containing chemical structures, diagrams, charts, or tables with no significant text. The student must talk about this slide for a minimum of three minutes. Through the use of these exercises we have noticed vast improvements in our students’ ability to develop and deliver presentations. They speak more extemporaneously and their slides contain fewer words and more graphics. The students have also gained confidence in their ability to interpret graphs and explain chemical mechanisms using more technical terms, thus taking the first steps in their professional development.

P227: Integrating chemistry and biology through theme based courses for non-majors

Author: Kimberly A. Lawler-Sagarin, Elmhurst College, USA

Co-Author: Michelle S. Applebee, Tamara Marsh and Stacey L. Raimondi, Elmhurst College, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: MAK A1165

Related Symposium: S26

At Elmhurst College, team-taught bidisciplinary courses meet two general education content area requirements and are popular options for students. Through focusing on interdisciplinary themes, we have successfully offered two such courses integrating chemistry and biology. One course is centered around the theme of forensic science and the other around environmental issues relating to water and energy. Alternation of chemical and biological topics within each course and the use of naturally interdisciplinary themes helps make the integration successful. However, challenges include incorporating different teaching styles, student motivation, the tendency of students and faculty to separate the two areas, and selecting textbooks with cover both disciplines at appropriate levels.