P121: Design and presentation of a multistep synthetic scheme: A culminating activity for organic chemistry students
Throughout the two semesters of organic chemistry, students maintain a growing pile of notecards of reagents for functional group interconversions. During lecture and on exams, they utilize their knowledge of these interconversion steps to complete ‘fill-in-the-box’ exercises which show multistep syntheses of complex molecules from simpler ones. On whiteboards in class, they progress from figuring out the final structure after a series of steps to designing a path and retrosynthesis for a given molecule from a given starting point–all in the comfort of a group with the professor’s guidance. As a culminating activity, students are each assigned a different molecule for which they must construct a scheme and retro-synthesis on ChemDraw, write a short abstract, and then make a chalk-talk style presentation showing their total synthesis and at least two mechanisms. During the two weeks, students practice their chalk-talks and invite their friends and professors to attend on presentation day. Multiple examples of student work will be discussed.