P608: Chemistry in the environmental science classroom: A model for K-12 and higher education collaboration
With dwindling support for classroom and laboratory supplies, there is a need to develop novel collaborations in higher education to enhance the delivery of high skill instruction. Jackson College (JC), a community college in southern Michigan, utilized a unique collaboration with the Lenawee Intermediate School District Tech Center (LISD TECH) which may serve as a model for collaborations between K-12 and higher education in other communities. A branch campus of JC is located in Lenawee County, and shares building space with LISD TECH, which is focused on specific technical chemical and biological skill training for high school students in the county. A partnership was established between JC and LISD TECH to offer a college level environmental science course to both dual enrolled high school and college students. The course contained an independent laboratory component that utilized several pieces of analytical chemistry equipment, including high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Students were encouraged to choose projects that utilized this equipment, and examples included the analysis of cellulosic ethanol, glyphosate and capsaicin. Insights and takeaways from this collaboration will be presented, including student feedback and subsequent alterations that have been made to the course.