P851: Guided inquiry experiments for the physical chemistry lab
The NSF-funded POGIL-PCL project implements the principles of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) to improve student learning in the physical chemistry laboratory (PCL) course. We describe in detail two of the POGIL-PCL experiments that have been reviewed and tested at a variety of institutions. The first, “How does the composition of a mixture affect its melting point?,” is a re-invention of the traditional solid-mixtures phase diagram experiment using fatty acids. The second, “Which apple would be best for fruit salad?,” probes the enzyme catalyzed oxidation of catechol using enzyme extracted from apples. In each experiment students follow two learning cycles and work as a class to make predictions, select the appropriate parameters to vary or compare, carry out a general protocol, and analyze their results. We will present typical student results and discussion for these experiments. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF (DUE 1044624).