P654: Recycling plastics: A POGIL activity for introductory chemistry laboratory
POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) is a student-centered instructional strategy. In a laboratory setting, students would seek to learn content, acquire key process skills, and apply critical thinking as part of a collaborative team, thus preparing them to be more competitive in the workforce. Most chemistry laboratory courses begin with the determination of density. This experiment helps students to develop techniques and laboratory skills. Students are then asked to hypothesize how the density of solutions may vary with changes in composition. Student groups are formed to design and conduct experiments that will provide data to evaluate their hypothesis. Guidance is provided as needed. A project dealing with recycling of plastic is then introduced. Students explore a possible scenario of separating a mixture of plastic chips based on density differences. Students report on the densities, feasibility of separation, and methods and techniques used. An assessment survey is also provided.