P410: Thumbs up, thumbs down: Predicting electrocyclic reaction stereochemistry

Author: Loren Barnhurst, Southern Adventist University, USA

Co-Author: Stephen Cruz, Southern Adventist University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

The stereochemistry of electrocyclic reactions is a topic which at times boggles the minds of organic chemistry students. A teaching method has been developed which uses the thumb of each hand to quickly determine the orientation of substituents after the allowed processes of conrotation or disrotation have occurred. To further enhance this method, a short movie has been produced by a former student (animation major) to allow for repeated viewing by students and sharing with colleagues.

P119: Mental hooks: Creative techniques to enhance retention of key concepts in organic chemistry

Author: Loren Barnhurst, Southern Adventist University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: LMH 176

Related Symposium: S3

Key concepts in organic chemistry must first be mastered and then, just as importantly, retained for students to perform well on year-end cumulative exams as well as professional school entrance exams. To this end, a variety of creative techniques have been developed to not only enhance the retention of material but to also ideally make learning more enjoyable in the process. From a picture of an elephant explaining the concept of cyclohexane stability to a mnemonic for remembering oxidation of organic molecules to a rap song which walks the student through a complex mechanism, these techniques will be demonstrated and shared for all to use. The goal of this presentation is to spark the creativity that is present in some form in all of us to the benefit of our students.