241st ACS National Meeting Symposium Reports

Meeting Co-Chairs

High School Program Co-Chairs

Undergraduate Poster

CHED Program

ACS Award for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry: Symposium in Honor of David F. Treagust

Organizers: Marcy Towns, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, tel: (765) 496-1574, Email: mtowns@purdue.edu; and Thomas J. Greenbowe. Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3111, tel: (515) 294-6352, Email: tgreenbo@iastate.edu (Invited only)

This symposium in honor of the contributions of David Treagust to research on the teaching and learning of chemistry contained papers on student understanding of the macroscopic-particulate connection by M. H. Towns; David Treagust's influence on the design of instruction and assessment to address student difficulties with understanding electrochemical cells by T. J. Greenbowe; diagnostic assessment for curricular change by J. E. Lewis, J. A. Arjoon, K. Heredia, U. Kulatunga, S. M. Villafañe, and X. Xu; measuring what students know about chemistry by S. Bretz; vsualizing atomic and molecular behavior. By M. R. Abraham and J. I. Gelder; visualizing chemical concepts through stop-motion animations by W. K. Graeber; just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid by M. M. Cooper; and the role of multiple representations and diagnostic assessment to enhance the teaching and learning of chemistry concepts by D. F. Treagust.

Advances in Teaching Organic Chemistry

Organizer: Susan F. Hornbuckle, Department of Natural Sciences, Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow, GA 30260, tel: (678) 466-4780, Email: SusanHornbuckle@clayton.edu

In the morning session, Michael J Castaldi, Saint Peter's College, presented Undergraduate organic chemistry research on a shoe-string budget. This presentation focused on the challenges and successes of undergraduate organic chemistry research in a small inner-city private college. After no research in more than 10 years, the presenter and his colleagues revived the undergraduate research program with projects in organic and medicinal chemistry. Lack of instrumentation and chemicals posed a challenge. However, 50% of the students from the first semester chose to continue their research the following semester. Jane E Wissinger, University of Minnesota, presented Oxidation of borneol to camphor using Oxone® and catalytic NaCl: A green experiment for the undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory. A new green oxidation procedure was developed for the undergraduate organic teaching laboratories for use by over 1000 students per year. The experiment was performed using (1S)-borneol providing large quantities of the less prevalent (1S)-camphor which is useful in a research setting. The product was analyzed using IR and NMR. Nagarajan Vasumathi, Jacksonville State University, presented Undergraduate research as a teaching tool in organic chemistry. The presenter discussed the importance of providing students with the tools to understand the fundamental “language” of organic chemistry and to appreciate the art, elegance and creativity involved in synthetic organic chemistry. Studies on PABA ester synthesis and product characterization was discussed as a model.

Stacy A. O'Reilly, Butler University, presented Catalyzing connections between synthetic experiences: Using a copper-hydride catalyzed reduction to build bridges. Methods of how can we make better connections between organic lab and a more advanced synthetic lab were discussed. Using synthetic modules such as the synthesis of silyl ethers involved the students in research design, methodology, workup, and analysis. This procedure was used to help students make a better transition into the research lab. John J. Esteb, Butler University, presented Development of a microwave-assisted Diels-Alder reaction for the undergraduate organic laboratory: Meshing modern techniques with classic reactions. A microwave-assisted Diels-Alder synthesis of substituted cyclohexenols experiment developed for use in the undergraduate organic teaching laboratory was discussed. The experiment lends itself well to an approach where a variety of related products can be made through systematic variation of the dieneophile/diene combinations. Iyun Lazik, Christopher Connelly, and Olivia Sanchez, San Jose City College, presented Fermentation and biofuel research of wild mustard (Brassica campestris): A native californian flora as a potentially viable source of ethanol production. This presentation focused on the redesign of a sophomore organic chemistry laboratory class to a more active learning experience with real-life applications. The topic of biofuel was used as basis for discussion on carbohydrates, acid hydrolysis, and fermentation. Students did literature research, collected various plant materials, designed and preformed experiments for ethanol production, and analyzed the effectiveness of each process. C. Eric Ballard. University of Tampa, presented Green reductive homocoupling of bromobenzene. This presentation focused on using the sophomore organic chemistry laboratory to introduce topics absent in organic chemistry textbooks. For example, although transition metal-catalyzed reactions are important in contemporary chemistry, relatively few resources for the sophomore organic chemistry curriculum discuss the subject. The author discussed the use of an inquiry-based experiment of an iron-catalyzed preparation of biphenyl to introduce redox cycles common in many metal-catalyzed reactions, redox processes of organic substrates, and green chemistry.

Yi Pan, City College of New York, presented Convenient method for the synthesis of cinnamaldehyde.  This presentation focused on a one-step synthesis of cinnamaldehyde that was used in a senior level laboratory course where students were studying organic chemistry and practicing organic synthesis skills. One possible variation of the synthesis experiment above was a four-session experiment that included: (a) separation of cinnamaldehyde from nature product cinnamon sticks; (b) chemical synthesis, characterization, and structure elucidation of cinnamaldehyde using 1HNMR, FT-IR, and GC-MS. The two-session experiment may only include the part (b). Students will learn the basic organic skills such as extraction, isolation, synthesis, and identification techniques. Then, John A. Cramer, Seton Hill University, presented Multiweek exercises in the organic chemistry laboratory course: An effective means for enhancing student experimental competency. This presentation focused on the isolation and characterization of orange oil as a six-week project that requires students to multitask and problem solve in lab. This multiweek exercise required the coordinated use of a wide range of experimental protocols, including the analysis of data from the chemical literature, and serve to promote active learning, multitasking, and collaborative learning skills.

In the afternoon session, Susan M Schelble, Metropolitan State College of Denver, presented Outcomes from the use of a collaboratively developed organic chemistry practice exam. This presentation focused in the development process for a practice exam for the ACS exam for Organic Chemistry. Question types as well as determination of question validity were discussed. Gary M Battle, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, presented Using experimentally-measured crystal structures to teach organic chemistry concepts. This presentation focused on the use of crystal structure data from the Cambridge Crystallographic Database in teaching organic chemistry. Crystal structures were discussed as a means of exemplifying fundamental concepts such as stereochemistry, conformation, and chirality. When analyzed collectively, these provide a wealth of knowledge that serve to support reaction theories and mechanistic details. Examples from the Cambridge Crystallographic Database were presented. Jonathan H. Chen, University of California, Irvine, presented Reaction Explorer: Organic chemistry tutorial system with inherent predictive power and collaborative learning support. This presentation focused on “Reaction Explorer” an interactive tutorial system for organic chemistry that can generate a virtually limitless number of multi-step synthesis design and reaction mechanism problems with support for inquiry-based learning. Two alternative formats (Chemical Company Format and Tetris Format) were also presented. R. Daniel Libby, Moravian College, presented Teaching course content and data processing skills along with laboratory techniques in the organic laboratory. The presenter discussed his approach to sophomore organic chemistry laboratory, which employs large student-acquired data sets, helps students learn course content, data processing skills and scientific writing skills while they are acquiring laboratory techniques. Alicia A. Peterson, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, presented Evolution of an introductory organic chemistry course. The presenter discussed the redesign of their sophomore organic chemistry course away from the typical functional group study to a topic/reaction type approach. First semester topics included spectroscopy, nomenclature (outside of class), conformations, stereochemistry, MO theory, acid – base chemistry, and Sn1, Sn2, E1, E2 reaction types. Second semester topics included applications of substitution reactions, alpha-alkylation, nucleophilic addition, aldol reactions, and nucleophilic substitution.

Chris P. Schaller, College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, presented Developing complex problem solving skills with modern applications of reactivity. The presenter discussed the use of a workbook to deliver in-class problems. Problems not worked in class were to be worked outside of class. The workbook was used to develop skills in key areas of organic chemistry such as synthesis, mechanism, data analysis, relative rates, spectroscopy and mechanistic analysis. Ryan Denton, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, presented Implementing problem-solving discussion sections in the first semester organic chemistry lecture. The presenter discussed an attempt to improve student engagement and address declining exam performance, a less than desirable DFW rate, and negative student perceptions, through a problem-solving Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) discussion section. Initial results indicate minimal effect on course exam performance or ACS exam scores. Then, Jacqueline Bennett, SUNY College at Oneonta, presented Beyond multiple choice: Using clickers to ask high-level questions in organic chemistry. The presenter discussed the pros and cons of using clickers in a Sophomore Organic Chemistry course. Then, she focused on methods of developing more sophisticated clicker questions that require a deeper understanding of the material. Examples of the various levels of clicker questions were shared with emphasis on multi-step synthesis and proton NMR questions.

Applications of Visualization Techniques in the Classroom

Organizer: Thomas J. Greenbowe. Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3111, tel: (515) 294-6352, Email: tgreenbo@iastate.edu

This symposium included papers on enhancing the learning of chemistry in the laboratory with pre-laboratory visual aids by T. A. Saleh; an evolving approach to computational and visualization experiments in organic chemistry by T. N. Jones, K. J. Graham, C. P. Schaller, and E. J. McIntee; visualization technology for organic chemistry by S. A. Fleming; an analysis of students' use of an electronic learning tool on precipitation reactions by R. M. Kelly; using JMol to teach structural concepts in general chemistry by M. R. Abraham; using molecular visualization software in teaching chemical kinetics by J. I. Gelder, M. R. Abraham, and T. J. Greenbowe; and web-based computer simulations accompanied by guided-inquiry tutorials for teaching general chemistry by T. J. Greenbowe, J. I. Gelder, M. R. Abraham, and A. Mehta.

Chemistry Education Research: a Symposium Focusing on the Presentation and Discussion of Graduate Student Research

Organizers: Derek Behmke, Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, tel: (770) 846-6997, Email: dbehmke@uga.edu; and Cynthia J. Luxford, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, tel: (513) 529 -5721, Email: luxforcj@muohio.edu

The “Chemistry Education Research: A Symposium Focusing on the Presentation and Discussion of Graduate Student Research” symposium was part of the Division of Chemical Education program at the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting in Anaheim, CA. This symposium was a continuation of the graduate student symposium organized at the 239th ACS meeting in San Francisco by Kimberly Linenberger and Sonia Underwood. This symposium was designed to allow graduate students a place to present and receive feedback on projects that are at all stages of completeness. The symposium was organized to allow 12 minutes for presentations and a unique 8 minutes for discussion and feedback on the graduate student’s research.

Sachel Villafane, a PhD student from the University of South Florida, began the Symposium by presenting her research on understanding attitudes of first year chemistry students in order to increase the number of students entering the workforce. Sachel presented the preliminary findings from the analysis of a three-factor attitudinal instrument looking at student attitudes at the beginning of the chemistry course. Mary Beth Anzovino, a PhD student from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, continued to talk about student attitude as she presented an aspect of her research that also looks at attitudes of undergraduate chemistry students towards research based laboratory experiments. She is developing and validating a 5 point likert scale survey that looks at student attitudes towards scientific research. She found that students think research is important to the mission of the University. Cristina Robitu, a Masters student at California State University-Fullerton, presented her work with model based teaching and learning in the high school laboratory. Her talk focused on having students develop particulate models as part of the traditional laboratory experience.

After the intermission, Thomas Bussey, a PhD student at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, presented the implications of Variation Theory to biochemical education research. He elicited student understanding of external representations through the use of 3P-SIT interviews and in particular wanted to know how to evaluate what students think are ‘best representations’. Basil Naah, a PhD student at Middle Tennessee State University, presented about his work with identifying student misconceptions associated with writing balanced chemical equations of ionic compounds dissolving in water. He found that students tend to spend more time on animations than static images. Additionally, He concluded that there is an interaction effect between whether the equation was presented to students before or after the static images or animations. John Moody, a PhD student at the University of Georgia, presented his research on problem based integration instruction (PBI2). The major goal of PBI2 is to decrease withdrawal rates, increase performance on the course final exam, and improve student attitudes in the classroom. The first implementation of PBI2 saw the withdrawal rate increase. After modifications, he is now finding that this semester the withdrawal rate has decreased.

After the second intermission, Derek Behmke a PhD student at the University of Georgia, presented a part of his research looking at how the incorporation of Cognitive Load Theory into electronic homework systems affected student performance. The goal was to increase knowledge retention while decreasing the amount of D, F, and W grades. He discussed the different types of cognitive load and how they affect student retention. Preliminary data indicate students perform better on electronic test questions when similar topics have been introduced with Cognitive Load Theory adapted questions on previous electronic homework assignments.

A panel discussion followed the 7 talks and allowed for additional questions to be asked to any of the speakers. This led to a great discussion on the importance of symposiums designed for graduate students. There was a discussion on how graduate students can help each other find funding in order to be able to attend national conferences as well as a discussion on what characteristics attract graduate students to a particular chemistry education research program. Justin Carmel, Miami University PhD student, and Mary Beth Anzovino, University of Wisconsin-Madison PhD student, have volunteered to organize another symposium featuring graduate student work at the spring 2012 ACS national meeting in San Diego.

Chemistry Misconceptions Research

Organizer: Stacey Lowery Bretz, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, tel: (513) 529-3731, Email: bretzsl@muohio.edu

This symposium was selected by C&EN as one of its two "C&EN Picks: Anaheim Edition" for Wednesday, March 30 at the national meeting.
http://cenblog.org/newscripts/2011/03/cen-highlights-sessions-in-anaheim/

Chris Bauer, University of New Hampshire, began the symposium by sharing results from workshops on chemical pedagogy conducted with doctoral students at R1institutions around the country. Using questions from Mulford & Robinson's "Chemical Concept Inventory," Bauer asked graduate students to predict the most popular wrong answer by undergraduates and the magnitude of change for students after completing general chemistry. Graduate students regularly overestimated how much the students' thinking would change as a result of instruction. Asiana Banda, a graduate student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, shared his thesis findings regarding the understandings of Zambian Junior High School pre-service science teachers with regard to the particulate nature of matter, focused especially on phase changes. While teachers had a very good understanding of the speed of particles, the space between particles, and the number of particles during phase changes, the pre-service teachers repeatedly were challenged by their inability to discuss the size of particles during physical changes. Responses indicating that these future teachers thought molecules increased in size or changed in size due to changes in temperature or pressure were particularly problematic. Cynthia Luxford, a graduate student at Miami University, presented findings from her research regarding students' understanding of multiple representations used by chemists and textbooks to depict differences between covalent and ionic bonding. While high school and university students could identify the differences between sharing and transferring electrons as well as the connection to metals and nonmetals, their ability to identify these models in representations, and to create with fidelity their own representations to distinguish between ionic and covalent bonding revealed a significant disconnect between what students can say and what they are actually able to do. Michael Bindis, a graduate student at Miami University, discussed his research study to investigate students' knowledge of intermolecular forces, particularly in the context of paper chromatography. Most students can name one or more kinds of intermolecular forces. However, when asked to explain how one molecule is attracted to another, students attribute this attraction by invoking a wide spectrum of ideas, including charges, magnets, intermolecular forces, and covalent bonding. Ana Vasquez Murata, a graduate student at Miami University, shared results from her research study regarding student understanding of atomic emission. When shown flame tests and asked to explain what is happening, students report that atoms are breaking apart and compounds are vaporized, with the flame acting as a catalyst or indicator.

Jana Jensen, a graduate student at Miami University, presented a paper regarding student misconceptions about acid-base reactions. In addition to erroneously identifying OH in an alcohol as indicating a base, students also focused on the role of charges, equilibrium, and phases as indicative of whether a reaction on paper should be classified as acid-base or not. Donald Wink, University of Illinois at Chicago, shared findings from a research study investigating students' understandings of solutions. He presented results regarding concentration, identify of solute and solvent, and reactions that were used to create a Facet cluster analysis. The symposium concluded with two talks regarding students' misconceptions regarding biochemistry. Kimberly Linenberger, a graduate student at Miami University, described student misconceptions about enzyme-substrate interactions, including factors that affect complementarity. Using two pairs of representations, she presented preliminary findings from the Enzyme-Substrate Interactions Concept Inventory, including evidence for its reliability and validity. The symposium concluded with a talk by Sachel Villafañe, a graduate student at the University of South Florida, regarding an instrument developed to measure prior knowledge that students bring to biochemistry courses. Data regarding student thinking across seven different clusters, and use of the instrument for pre-post course gains were discussed.

The Ethics of Publishing

(Co-sponsored by the ACS Committee on Ethics and the Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications. Organizers: Thomas R. LeBon, El Camino College Compton Center, Compton, CA 90221, Email: tlebon@excite.com; and George M. Bodner, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, tel: (765) 494-5313, Email: gmbodner@purdue

A symposium on Ethics in Publishing was held as part of the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting in Anaheim. It was co-sponsored by the ACS Committee on Ethics and the ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications. The symposium was video-taped and is available on the ACS website. Copies of many of the presentations will be made available on the DivCHED website.

Tom LeBon of El Camino College Compton Center opened up the symposium with a discussion of plagiarism of words and data that linked this symposium with one on plagiarism that had been sponsored by the ACS Committee on Ethics for the DivCHED program at the 237th ACS National Meeting in Salt Lake City, two years ago. The goal of his presentation was to connect efforts to combat plagiarism in the classroom with efforts being undertaken within the context of journal publications. George Bodner of Purdue University then examined the implications of a National Academy of Sciences report: “Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age.” He summarized some of the issues raised in this report as well as the recommendations made by the panel, but he focused on the reason why the panel was created: To investigate the significant increase in the number of manuscripts being submitted for publication in top-ranked journals that contain one or more images that had been improperly manipulated. He noted that in a five-year period, from 2002 to 2007, the Journal of Cell Biology found that more than a quarter of the manuscripts accepted for publication contained one or more images that had been improperly manipulated, and 1% of these papers contained an image that had been altered to the point where it would lead the reader to a different conclusion than the raw data. John Challice from Oxford University Press presented a perspective on ethics in publishing from the perspective of a book publisher who had to decide what to publish, how to ensure discoverability of content, and how to avoid accusations of plagiarism. Robin Rogers from the University of Alabama presented the perspective of an editor of an ACS journal. He focused on experiences with contentious issues encountered by Crystal Growth & Design related to rapid growth of the field, fractional publication, self-plagiarism, referencing reviews rather than original works, and rejection without review. Paul Weiss from UCLA presented a perspective on ethics in pubishling from the editorial board of ACS Nano. He argued his journal sits at the crossroads of many fields, which provides an interesting perspective on approaches taken across fields.

Jeffrey Seeman from the University of Richmond described research done with his colleague, Mark House of Giant Steps Research, to determine what actions are both “practiced” and “experienced” within the US chemistry academic community based on a survey of faculty that dealt with issues of authorship [cf., House, M. C. & Seeman, J. I.(2010). Accountability in Research, 17(5), 223-256]. He noted that half of the respondents perceived that they had failed to receive credit they deserved. He noted that faculty who received their Ph.D. in the 1990's and 2000's were less likely to give credit to their co-workers than more senior faculty, and that there was a tendency to be more likely to give credit to one’s own students than students from another faculty’s research group, for the same intellectual contributions. Kenneth Busch from the National Science Foundation described some of the issues faced by the Office of Inspector General and reported on the success of his co-author’s (Dr. Pedro Muiño’s) semester-long sabbatical at the NSF OIG office. Issues he addressed included authorship, data integrity, questionable research practices, corrections and retractions in the literature, and mentorship in responsible professional practices.

The symposium concluded with presentations from two individuals who had chaired the ACS Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications. John Russell from the Naval Research Lab presented a pair of case studies he had created to illustrate how editorial ethical issues are considered and handled. Grace Baysinger from Stanford University then examined some of the issues faced by graduate students in the era of electronic theses and dissertations, such as prior publication, copyright transfer, and self-plagiarism.

From Scribbles to Symbols: Investigating the Development of Representational Competence

Organizers: Nathaniel Grove, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403, tel: (513) 593-0341, Email: groven@uncw.edu, and Sonia Miller Underwood, Department of Chemistry, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, Email: sunderw@clemson.edu

The “From Scribbles to Symbols: Investigating the Development of Representational Competence” symposium was held during the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting in Anaheim, California. The symposium highlighted issues of consequence to all chemists – namely, students’ use of symbolic representations during their study of chemistry and the creation/assessment of instructional materials that may help chemistry students develop more robust understandings of how, when, and why to use such representations.

Joel Russell of Oakland University kicked the session off by describing a series of computer-based visualization tools that were developed specifically for first-year chemistry students. These tools incorporated both simulations of molecular motion with more traditional pen-and-paper activities and were found to be effective in helping students develop a better understanding of particulate-level phenomena. The first-year experience was also the subject of Sean Madden’s presentation. Currently at Greeley West High School, Sean talked about the results of a qualitative research study that sought to understand students’ use of representations as they solved ideal gas problems. The results suggested that both beginning and advanced chemistry students gravitated towards a single representational model; however, the more advanced students were more likely to use this preferred representation as a heuristic when presented with other, less familiar representations. Sonia Miller Underwood from Clemson University closed out the first half of the session by presenting her work on students’ use of Lewis structures. According to her research, many general and organic chemistry students do not recognize the importance of using Lewis structures nor the information that can be derived from their use. To help combat these issues, Sonia reported on the use of a new general chemistry curriculum – Chemistry, Life, the Universe, and Everything (CLUE). Her results showed that as opposed to students enrolled in a traditional general chemistry course, students taught using the CLUE curriculum were not only better equipped to create Lewis structures but had a much more realistic understanding of how they can be used.

The second half of the symposium began with a presentation from Basil Naah of Middle Tennessee State University. Basil expounded upon a mixed-methods study he conducted to identify students’ misconceptions about dissolving ionic compounds in water. Specifically, it was noted that many students felt the water reacted with the ionic salt through a double displacement-type process to form a metal oxide and an acid, that polyatomic ions dissociate into individual atoms, and that ionic salts dissolve as neutral ion-pairs in water. Robert Kojima from the University of California, Los Angeles presented a computer-based chemical nomenclature system used at two community colleges in the Los Angeles area. The system was created to be individually adaptive, and Robert presented specific information about the computer algorithm designed to drive the system. Finally, Nathaniel Grove from the University of North Carolina Wilmington talked about the use of embodied cognition to enhance the learning of organic chemistry mechanisms and the curved-arrow notation. The research utilized BeSocratic, a system designed to combine gesture with graphically-based prompts and individualized feedback, and asked students to complete two, 20-minute activities during their study of the material. Results documented a dramatic increase in the ability of students using the BeSocratic system to solve both near and far transfer tasks and in the number actually using mechanisms in comparison to students in a control group.      

General Posters

Organizer: Thomas Bussey, Department of Chemistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy., Mail Stop 4003, Las Vegas, NV, 89154, tel: (702) 895-3743, Email: busseyt2@unlv.nevada.edu

This evening session concluded the first day of the Division of Chemical Education program at the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition. The purpose of this symposium was to provide a forum for broad range of participants from various institutions to present posters detailing sundry aspects of their research and professional interests and projects. Seventy-five posters were presented on topics including professional development for science teachers, summer science camps for students, undergraduate research experiences for students, and implications for and applications of science laboratory and classroom content and instruction. The General Posters session was well attended and resulted in a great deal of discussion amongst presenters and attendees.

General Oral Papers

Organizers: Richard C. Bauer, School of Letters and Sciences, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85004-0696, tel: (602) 496-0620, Email: rbauer@asu.edu, and Chris Masi, Department of Physical Science, Westfield State University, Westfield, MA 01086, tel: (413) 572-5371, Email: cmasi@wsc.ma.edu

Global Issues

Gregory P. Foy, Presider 

The session started with a historical perspective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change presented by Keith Peterman (“UN provides a context for teaching global topics of climate change and sustainability”) that then led into a description of how this platform provides an excellent opportunity to teach undergraduates the significance of sustainability and other global environmental issues. Dr. Peterman’s main question posed to the audience was What is the role of higher ed in educating students, the public, and policy makers about issues related to climate change? In his presentation, “Sustainability, climate change, and the international year of chemistry (IYC-2011): A celebration or just the beginning!?” Gregory Foy provided a description of the ACS involvement in the process from the Sustainability Engagement Event in San Francisco to the proposal in Boston. The presentation then outlined the steps taken to involve students and professors in COP16 (the UNFCCC’s 16th Conference of Parties). This was followed by a description of a number of the outcomes and then a suggestion for the future. The next speaker was Anthony Tomaine, an undergraduate from York College of Pennsylvania. As one of two ACS representatives to COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, Anthony provided the perspective of an undergraduate ACS non-governmental official (NGO) through his talk titled “Climate change, sustainability, and COP16: An undergraduate tale”. This talk provided details of the engagement of students around the world through the C&EN Editors blog as well as a Facebook page and subsequent discussions after returning from the conference. Steven Tobin described the production of two York College Chemistry society videos in his talk titled “Sustainability and IYC-2011: A York College Chemistry Society production.” The first video shown focused on the COP16 engagement by Anthony Tomaine and Leah Block through a documentary. The second video was a short production that aimed at educating the audience about water usage and treatment. Leah Block was the last speaker in the York College group and described her experiences at COP16 “Reporting behind the scenes through the eyes of an undergraduate”. Leah gave a wonderful description of the process leading up to the conference, and then described the many interactions with NGOs, press, and several high ranking government officials. Her story describing her interaction with Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC was excellent. The final speaker in the panel was Alexander Greer from Brooklyn College, and his talk on “Encouraging undergraduate student involvement in defending the human rights of scientists” was a fantastic way to wrap up the session. He described the ways in which he is engaging students and others in these human rights issues and highlighted a number of organizations that are working on behalf of scientists around the world. He is extremely concerned that these issues are not getting the attention that they deserve and is promoting student involvement as a mechanism for promoting human rights issues. Alexander was quite complimentary towards the student speakers that had presented before him. 

Chemistry for Majors and Nonmajors

Presider: Provi Mayo

Provi Mayo presented “Students’ views on the nature of science after taking a general education science course.” She discussed the differences on the nature of science knowledge between general education students that take Physical Science and students that take a science application course such as Chemistry of Art. The author presented data which illustrated the students’ ideas on the nature of science and how these changed during the aforementioned courses. Martin Mulvihill from UC Berkley talked about green chemistry and how to achieve this concept properly in having a building constructed as well as devising new “green” chemistry themed laboratories. In his presentation entitled “Using green chemistry and multi-week laboratory exercises to influence student perceptions of the natural science,” the author stressed that the support of the dean was instrumental on their advances. Mulvihill mentioned some quotes from students’ surveys to support the decision to build laboratories with less of a carbon footprint. He discussed some experiments such as fuel calorimetry, ecotoxicity assay, and biodiesel synthesis. Dr. Mulvihill’s main talking point was that in addition to implement of “greener” experiments and buildings being “greener,” the students made connections outside of the chemistry classroom to the material taught in class.

Benjamin Huddle talked about his Forensic Chemistry course in his presentation, “Assessment of pedagogy in chemistry courses for non-science majors at Roanoke College.” He described how he embedded inquiry-based experiments in a non-science majors course. The author explained how he and the co-authors modified POGIL-based experiments and assessment tools. He used an instrument Dr. Craig Bowen (University of Southern Mississippi) to assess chemistry laboratory instrument anxiety designed by.

Jessica Davis introduced her paper (“Chemistry of nutrition: Overcoming challenges in developing a non-majors course”) with the idea that she wanted her students to “think globally but to act locally.” Dr. Davis described her syllabus and several experiments in which they use basic concepts of nutrition to “debunk mistrust against scientists” and “get them to collect and graph data.” One of her most popular experiments has students extract and calculate how much fat is in a French fry from the student’s favorite pub.

Daming Gu presented a “Novel method of promoting student writing of short science and technology papers for General Chemistry.” He explained that in his country science teaching is based on memorization and “force-feeding” students with facts. He criticized that the students have no capacity for innovation because they get no opportunity to learn to think for themselves. His department decided to solve this problem by having the students write a freshman paper based on an assigned topic. The students had to write a 15 page paper that was later graded by graduate assistants. They hoped this improved the students’ capacity for innovation.

In their presentation “Halloween Science Night 2010 at Southeast Missouri State University: Introducing General Chemistry students to professional service,” Rachel Morgan and Marcus Bond described general chemistry student participation in their Halloween Science Night event. The students were able to design and execute experiments with the kids that visited on Science Night. General Chemistry students had to participate to receive credit but they could choose their level of professional service.

Nathan Brandstarter talked about the benefits and perils of building a massive room that uses interactive technology (“Synchronous interactive digital learning”). The facility was constructed to help students use digital learning as a tool in the classroom. Students had to bring their own computers so they could participate in the interactive problem session which would present the data in real time to the students.

Paul Hooker described how to build a well designed space to teach organic chemistry with an integrated physics laboratory (“Integration of general chemistry laboratory and classroom activities in a well-designed learning space”). He was excited that the facility had the capability to block cell phone signals so the students would concentrate on their work. Dr. Hooker also presented a strong argument for integrating laboratory with lecture to maximize learning and teaching space.

Teacher Professional Development

Presider: Suzanne Blum

Danielle Solano described the design and evaluation of a chemistry careers class in her presentation entitled “Evaluation of the effectiveness of a focused interest career course for chemistry students.” Masters and bachelors students enrolled in a multi-week course exploring the careers available to people holding chemistry degrees. Guest lecturers from nontraditional disciplines (i.e., not "academics" or "industry") visited weekly. Example guests included a forensic scientist and an intellectual property professional.

Hal Harris presented “Teachable moments gained and lost when your mercury-filled barometer is gone.” He described how up-to-the-minute weather websites provide information about atmospheric pressure that students can analyze as a "green" alternative to mercury barometers.

Craig Rusbult presented an approach to undergraduate laboratory education that involved group work (“Lab education to teach scientific thinking skills”). During his presentation he described groups of large numbers of students called "supergroups". Suzanne Blum (Get FIT! Faculty in Training Program”) described a mentored faculty training program that provides graduate students with skills for careers in classroom education.

Khuloud Sweimeh described the many community college teaching options available to Ph.D. chemists (“Becoming a chemistry professor at a community college: How to get there and what’s in it for you”). She described her typical teaching experiences, including the satisfaction of helping a diverse student pool, and tips for entering the field. David Finster closed the session by describing a safety training program for undergraduate students that is articulated in his new coauthored book, "Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students."

Teacher Professional Development

Presider: Mary Virginia Orna

The lead-off speaker for this session, Edward P. Zovinka of Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA (co-authors Rose A Clark, Allison L Felix) spoke of “STEMing the flow: Connecting undergraduates with applied science” through a summer residential program for rising high school. Once students were on campus, Peer-Led Team Learning experiences in many introductory STEM classes and undergraduate research opportunities were made available. All activities allowed students to work closely with faculty and upper-level science majors as mentors. He showed statistics that indicated an appreciable retention rate of these STEP student in their original STEM majors. Mark B. Cannon of Brigham Young University-Hawaii followed with his paper, “Reinforcing 1st-year foundational principles in chemistry majors during the 2nd year.” One of the objectives of his project was to measure the benefits that peer-tutoring have on tutors themselves. They turned out to be review and reinforcement, and a need-to-know connection to the tutored material. Additional benefits were an increase in self-concept, better retention than for non-tutors, and a significant increase in their ACS General Chemistry Examination scores. In his paper, “Early, practical assessment of teaching tools for general chemistry,” David S. Heroux, University of Maine at Farmington, spoke of the importance and benefits of early assessment of general chemistry students, even prior to the first examination. Emphasis was placed on how students saw various teaching tools and strategies as helpful to their learning so that they would be able to see their usefulness for the remainder of the course. Following the intermission, Michael P. Castellani of Marshall University, Huntington, WV (co-author James Sottile), in his talk, “Relationship between college chemistry pass rates/grades and high school grades,” presented evidence that there is a correlation between students’ “risk factors” and their pass rates in general chemistry after reviewing data that showed that 58% of students passed on their first try, but that again 58% of students passed on their second try. The question was: how can we raise the pass rate? They found that students with “0” risk factors had an 84% pass rate, whereas those with one or two risk factors had almost equal pass rates of on average 45%, the watershed being a single risk factor!

Mary Virginia Orna of The College of New Rochelle (co-author Jeffrey I Seeman, University of Richmond, Richmond) in the paper “Women chemists in the National Inventors Hall of Fame: A website with pedagogical potential” called attention to the various ways that a website (www.layingthegroundwork.com/inventors) developed following a symposium of the same name at the spring 2008 National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, could enable teachers to insert meaningful human achievements by women chemist inventors into their curriculum.

Finally, David B. Pushkin of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia made an impassioned plea in his paper, “Please stop calling them misconceptions!” to recognize the fact that such a term is inappropriate for students’ evolving scientific ideas that are more amorphous and heterogeneous early on, and become more sophisticated later. He suggested as a more appropriate term, “pseudoconceptions,” to reflect the reality of this evolution.

Enhanced Experiences for Chemistry Majors

Presider: Christopher Masi

Student Henry Wedler of Albright College presented "Moving forward: Making a computational/theoretical chemistry laboratory accessible to the blind". During the presentation Mr. Wedler described his experiences and the tools that he used while overcoming the obstacles that a blind chemist faces. For example, how does a blind person create an understanding of three-dimensional structure when the model cannot be seen? The answer is that a blind person can create a mental map of the molecule by creating three-dimensional models using rapid prototyping equipment or by creating tactile line drawings on papers. Mr. Wedler observed that in the end, he used the same skills in chemistry that he uses every day. He could neither see the molecules nor the object in the room around him, and in both instances he had to create a mental map of where all the objects and atoms were.

"Eight week integrated laboratory experiment for upper division chemistry," presented by Leroy Laverman of UC Santa Barbara, described research-like experiments that lasted for several weeks. The students synthesized ruthenium polypyridine complexes, and collected a wide variety of analytical data on the molecules.

In 'Serious horsepower, super excitement, and "hot" thermodynamics in physical chemistry laboratory: Hands one analysis of a V-8 automobile engine' John Kenney, from Concordia University, described how students, among other things, disassembled a V-8 engine to measure the bore and stroke of a cylinder to gain a concrete understanding of thermodynamic cycles and heat engines.

Following intermission, Emily Jarvis of Loyola Marymount University provided the attendees with a physical chemist's view of wine while describing the class she developed to explore the chemistry of wine.

Thomas DeVore of James Madison University then gave back to back presentations about research style activities that employed techniques like ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction in exploring the decomposition of Na2SiF6 in "Thermal decomposition of Na2SiF6 revisited: A laboratory project for the physical chemistry of senior capstone laboratory" and FTIR in the determination of the rotational states of CO2 in "Spectroscopic analysis of CO and CO2: An alternative to the ro-vibrational analysis of HCl/DCl".
 
In "Green chemistry: Student designed laboratory projects," Kate Graham of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University described how students designed their own "green" syntheses of organic molecules and adjusted their strategies as roadblocks are inevitably discovered. Prof. Graham's colleague, Prof. Edward McIntee, described how students attacked the problem of unknown identification of organic molecules in a semester-long organic chemistry laboratory sequence during his presentation entitled "Project-based lab approach for organic chemistry.”

Lihua Wang from Kettering University finished the day with "Teaching innovation in an inorganic chemistry class: A term project." Students in Prof. Wang's class prepared proposals to investigate inorganic chemistry, often building on projects that began during their co-op experiences outside the classroom.

Enhanced Experiences for Chemistry Majors

Presider: Richard Bauer

The first speaker in this session, Clare Muhoro, described environmental research projects for undergraduates (“Laboratory and field studies of the fate of N-methylcarbamate pesticides in tropical environments”). She discussed sample collection at tropical field sites in Ecuador and subsequent analysis of the fate of pesticides used in those locales. During the next presentation Sean Mo described undergraduate students’ engagement in renewable energy research at Alma College. Of particular interest is the synthesis and study of compound use in dye-sensitized solar cells (“Theoretical study and synthesis of novel organic compound for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs): Implementation in undergraduate renewable energy research”).

In her presentation entitled “Development of project based laboratory experience culminating in an independent project in undergraduate biochemistry,” Jessica Davis described laboratory projects used throughout the semester to replace one-week stand alone experiments. Emphasis is placed on hypothesis-based project design and development their own procedural plans. The biochemical kits used by students can be a problem when student designed experiments fail. Many solutions have to be prepared on the fly to accommodate student mistakes.

Katherine Kantardjieff was the next speaker, presenting “The Center for Molecular Structure: A remotely enabled diffraction collaborator in the California State University.” Housed at the California State Polytechnic University Pomona, The Keck Center for Molecular Structure provides for crystallographic analysis for students and researchers from remote locations. The author described some of the software, networking, and social media tools used to enable remote analysis of samples sent in from a variety of disciplines.

In her presentation on “Motivating students in the instrumental analysis course with mini-research projects,” Ramee Indralingam described student projects that replace traditional unknown analysis experiments. The mini-projects involve analysis of food products and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Students develop their own experimental design and instrumental parameters after some general guidelines communicated by the instructor.

The final talk of the session was presented by Jose Cabrera, Iyan Lazik, Madeline Adamczeski, and John Song from San Jose City College. In their presentation entitled “Learning chemistry through undergraduate research and presentations at symposia both on-campus and professional conferences,” they described their ambitious efforts to engage community college students in undergraduate research. The on-campus event includes a biannual chemistry poster presentation attended by students, faculty, administrators, and staff from across the institution. The authors also described the student experience presenting at the 239th ACS meeting in San Francisco. Using the Student Assessment of Learning Gains and other assessment tools, they found that students benefited from the experiences in many ways.

George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education: Symposium in Honor of William R. Robinson

Organizer: Marcy Towns, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, tel: (765) 496-1574, Email: mtowns@purdue.edu (Invited only)

Marcy Towns organized the 2010 Pimentel Award Symposium. To celebrate Bill’s achievements the symposium began with a retrospective of the field of chemical education research presented by George M. Bodner. Doug Mulford described the item response theory research he has carried out with the Robinson and Mulford Chemistry Concepts Inventory instrument. Lisa Lockwood, a senior editor at Cengage Publishing described the past, present, and future of chemistry textbook publishing to the delight of the audience. Cengage is the sponsor of the ACS Pimentel Award and we were delighted that she could join us for a presentation.

Ilene Alford was a master’s student of Bill’s who went on to become a senior forensic scientist for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Ilene described her multiple roles as a forensic scientist and outlined the requirements for obtaining a forensic science degree. Ken Lyle discussed a case-study of a pre-professional student’s experiences in learning chemistry. More than forty factors contributed to her difficulties learning chemistry were identified and were attributed to the chemistry-learning context, outside of course influences, and the participant herself. Several factors encouraged her to adopt surface approaches resulting in a partial, fragmented understanding of concepts. David Treagust discussed his work in diagnosing students' conceptions in chemistry across a range of topics using specially designed two-tier instruments.

Finally, Bill Robinson gave the 2010 Pimentel Award Address to the audience. Bill highlighted many of the ways we (as a community of faculty) think about teaching and learning. He used data collected in his own research to demonstrate how practices have changed and to challenge assumptions.

High School Program

Organizers: Judie Flint Baumwirt, Science Department Chairperson, Granada Hills Charter High School, 10535 Zelzah Avenue, Granada Hills, CA 91344, tel: (818) 360-2361 Ext 405, Email: jbaumwirt@ghchs.com; and Paul Shin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA 91330-8241, tel; (818) 677-6887, Email: alchemy@csun.edu

The program was organized to allow for a general opening session that was dedicated to the theme of the National Conference – Natural Resources, for all attendees. The High School Program contained a variety of activities with an equal balance of talks, demonstrations, hands-on activities including instructional support materials. Extensive donated teacher and classroom materials were also provided. An afternoon of concurrent sessions of hands-on presentation or demonstration activities were offered that would provide equal interest to keep a balanced program. For example, Moodle and Smart Board Technology Presentations were offered simultaneously as was AP level and standard High School level demonstration and standards-based instructional strategies workshops. This was done intentionally to provide choices for attendees as well as to insure adequate audience support for each presenter.

The 2011 High School Day was opened by Chair, Judith Flint Baumwirt with an introduction to the Keynote Speaker, Dr. John Warner co-founder of Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. Dr. Warner provided an interesting overview of the future of chemistry and chemistry education within the context of the National Conference theme of Natural Resources.

Amy Cannon and Rachel Pokrandt of Beyond Benign (www.beyondbenign.org) presented remarkable online resources for instructors on green chemistry and sustainability as well as a variety of freely available hands-on instructional activities for use in the high school chemistry classroom.

Jennifer Schuttlefield of the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh introduced The SHArk Project (Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit) which provides high school students the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research to discover stable oxide semiconductors that can efficiently photoelectrolyze water and that is economically viable. (http://www.thesharkproject.org/).

At the close of a fabulous luncheon, Dr. Jesse D. Bernstein, of the Miami Country Day School was honored with the presentation of the James Bryant Conant Award followed by his enlightening personal address which touched upon historical contributions to chemistry education. Dr. Bernstein earned this prestigious award for excellence in high school chemistry teaching due to his dedicated local, national, and international work supporting chemistry students and teachers.

Participants were provided a variety of concurrent workshops to choose among in the afternoon. Dr. Clemens Heske a research physicist with the Chemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas presented an overview of the need for a full portfolio of energy sources for future sustainability in his presentation on current solar cell research and its relevance to high school chemistry instruction. Concurrently, Dr. Sarah Tolbert of the UCLA California NanoSystem Institute provided an overview, demonstration and supporting materials on a hands-on nanotechnology activity that can be conducted in the high school chemistry classroom.

Dr. Kent Crippen of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas detailed the use of Moodle in the Chemistry classroom along with the focus on empowering students to take ownership of their own learning and progress through this medium. Concurrently, Dr. Debbie Bennett of Calabasas High School and Jeremy Short of A+ Interactive Technologies described the many capabilities of the Smart Board in chemistry classrooms both as an instructional focal point, student interactive and web tool.

Well known AP Instructor, Paul Groves of South Pasadena High School (also of www.chemybear.com fame) shared engaging instructional strategies for visualization and demonstration purposes for students at all levels. Concurrently, new teacher, Ethan Sullivan of Granada Hills Charter High School hosted an engaging New Teacher Discussion Forum sharing a variety of standards-based demonstrations with detailed handouts that can be utilized for all levels of students.

Dr. Michael G. Walter and Qixi Mi of Caltech’s Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering introduced a new inquiry-based lab curriculum for biology, chemistry and physics. The “Juice from Juice” kit is a berry juice sensitized TiO solar cell activity introduces concepts in electrochemistry, nanotechnology and materials science and is available to schools for research. (solarmy@caltech.edu). Concurrently, Douglas Otte of the Chemistry Department of the University of Irvine provided an overview and video of the outreach program to Orange County high school chemistry classrooms provided by graduate students. Demonstrations and activities conducted by visiting graduate students help to connect students to fundamental chemistry concepts.

Dr. Tom Lane, 2009 President of the American Chemical Society was found among the audience and was recognized for his very generous personal donation to this year’s High School Day. He was introduced and provided a very inspirational talk on the state of chemistry education well appreciated by the audience of high school teachers.

Erica Jacobsen and Laura Slocum of the Journal of Chemical Education provided an overview of the many activities available in the Journal for use in the high school chemistry classroom. A variety of engaging hands-on interdisciplinary activities and instructional materials were provided for attendees to experience that connected concepts of art, science and sustainability well supporting and providing an excellent workshop closure to the National Conference theme of Natural Resources.

Michael Morgan of Bravo Medical Magnet brought the workshop sessions to a close with a moving dedication and celebration of chemistry education contributions of Dr. Paul Shin of the Biochemistry and Chemistry Department of California State University, Northridge who was co-chair for the High School Day but who unexpectedly passed away October, 2010.

High School Day participants received a bevy of materials as well as extensive prize drawings provided by the following generous companies and vendors: A+ Interactive Technologies, ACS DivCHED Exams Institutes, ACS Office of International Activities, Apple, Inc., ChemMatters Magazine, Carolina Biological Supply Company, Chemical Abstracts Services, Flinn Scientific, Institute for Chemical Education, Journal of Chemical Education, Pearson Prentice Hall, Rainbow Symphony, Inc. Scholar Chemistry (VWR), Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society (SCALACS), Steve Spangler Science, Vernier Software and Technology.

International Initiatives in the Study of Chemistry

Organizer: Marina C. Koether, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kennesaw State University, MS 1203, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, GA, 30144, tel: (770) 423-6166, Email: mkoether@kennesaw.edu
     
As 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry, this symposium was created as a showcase of the international educational programs available in the study of chemistry. Bradley Miller of the ACS Office of International Activities began the Symposium describing the ACS-International Research Experiences for undergraduate exchange program as well as the ACS Global Research Experiences, Exchanges and Training Program (GREET) Pilot Program. Students have been placed in Germany, UK, France and Italy and present their findings at an ACS meeting. Zeev Rosenzweig from the Division of Chemistry, NSF described the advantages and challenges of the International Collaboration in Chemistry (ICC) program which has been overly popular; producing excellent science but lacking in representation by women. Kathrin Winkler of the German Research Foundation (DFG) described the DFG, the collaboration with NSF and 24 other countries and how international research training groups are being created. Of interest was the lack of international CHED studies. Justin Lomont spoke about his experience as a study abroad student and assistant while attending the University of Michigan. This bilateral exchange between China and the USA involved a video conference between the two sites. Survey results indicated that the lab mates are a lot closer in China. Rebecca Braslau of University of California Santa Cruz described her nine year experience with an organic chemistry REU in Thailand. Students are spread over three Universities in Thailand. A specific need is to broaden the pool of applicants. Sherine Obare from Western Michigan University exposes students to the Brazilian culture and the study of nanomaterials. Her students follow the five E’s (engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate). Michael Sponslor of Syracuse University described a two-way USA/Austria exchange program that is in its sixth summer. Females and minority students were well represented. Lijiang Hu from Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China, described the incentives for faculty to make a professional visit to HIT. These visits would include both cultural and scientific exposure.

Kenneth B. Wagener of the University of Florida (UF) developed study abroad research opportunities for graduate students to conduct macromolecular science research for an extended period abroad. The alliances are with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany, ETH in Switzerland, Kyoto University in Japan and National University of Singapore. UF is likely the first the offer a study abroad research experience for graduate students. Ivo Leito of the Institute of Tartu, Estonia described a summer program on measurement science held at different venues each year for Master’s students from a consortium of Universities in Europe. Josef Michl from the University of Colorado described a NSF funded program for graduate students to be exchanged between the USA and Czechoslovakia. The USA students appreciated the foreign culture and were able to improvise more upon their return. Morton Hoffman from Boston University (BU) described how science students can study abroad in their sophomore year and take required courses such as Organic I, Cell Biology and Statistics all in English and receive BU credit either in Dresden or Grenoble. In addition, students may elect to take “Introduction to Scientific Research” and spend six weeks conducting real research in a research group. Daniela Tapu of Kennesaw State University (KSU) described the “Get Global” initiative and the creation of a new chemistry course entitled “Chemistry and Culture”. Two study abroad trips are planned for May; one is going to Germany and the other to Puerto Rico. Tomas Baer from the University of North Carolina (UNC) made two presentations. The first one described taking students to Seville, Spain for six weeks and an instructor from UNC taught Organic Chemistry II. Students were also living with a host family and took an advanced Spanish Course. The second presentation described the Transatlantic Science Student Exchange Program (TASSEP) program. Students take their normal junior chemistry year in the language of the host country. This works at UNC since students are required to have competency in a second language. This symposium provided ample evidence that a study abroad in chemistry is feasible for undergraduates, graduates, post-docs and faculty.

 

K-12/College Partnerships to Improve Chemistry Instruction

Organizers: Martin Brock, Department of Chemistry, Eastern Kentucky University, tel: (859) 622-1460, Email: Martin.Brock@EKU.EDU; and Elizabeth Anne Roland, Science Education, Morehead State University, tel: (606) 783-9550, Email: e.roland@moreheadstate.edu

The morning session included papers on an effective math/science partnership between K-12 and higher education in Georgia by C. Kutal, D. C. Coleman, and N. Vandergrift; high school chemistry/freshman chemistry changes resulting from an MSP in the state of Georgia by C. H. Atwood; communicating and analysis of student experiences in the physical sciences by S. Basu-Dutt, G. Marshall, C. Russell, and D. Wink; professional development for in-service chemistry high school teachers by. E. Edwards Roland; partnering to progress learning in physical science by D. H. Johnson; and an undergraduate course generated through K/8 partnerships by M. L. Brock

The afternoon session included papers on how self-beliefs influence minority students' success in high school by J. R. Valles, Jr., X. She, J. Wilhelm, and D. J. Casadonte, Jr.; a green chemistry curriculum science club for girls by J. Toomey and A. M. O'Connor; iInspiring science in elementary school programs through a summer day camp at Shippensburg University by R. L. McCann; Aurora University's Master of Art in Teacher Leadership program in life science by C. Patel and H. T. Beck; and enzyme-responsive microcapsules formed by self-assembly: An undergraduate laboratory by M. Black, H. G. Bagaria, M. S. Wong, and C. A. Nichol.

75 Years of the Committee on Professional Training (CPT): It's Not Just About Approval

Organizer: Cynthia K. Larive, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, tel: (951) 827-2990, Email: clarive@ucr.edu

The half-day symposium “75 Years of the Committee on Professional Training (CPT): It's Not Just About Approval” celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of CPT and the ACS approval of undergraduate chemistry programs. This symposium provided a look backwards at the history of the Committee on Professional Training and the ACS Approval program, and at issues and opportunities facing chemistry today, including the central position of chemistry in the increasingly interdisciplinary scientific arena, the participation of members of underrepresented groups in our discipline and the importance of global participation in the chemistry enterprise, especially important in this the International Year of Chemistry. The session was well-attended as was the reception at the close of the symposium continuing the celebration the 75th anniversary of CPT.

Meaningful Learning from Laboratory Work: Evidence and assessment

Organizers: Jacob D. Schroeder, Department of Chemistry, 273 Hunter Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, tel (864) 656-1666, Email: jakeds@clemson.edu; Todd Gatlin, Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, tel: (601) 580-3859, Email: tgatlin@mail.usf.edu; and Santiago Sandi-Urena, Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, tel: (813) 974-2144, Email: ssandi@usf.edu

This symposium was meant to serve as a space to discuss evidence of meaningful learning in the laboratory and the development of reliable assessment instruments to measure this evidence. The learning laboratory has long enjoyed a place of prominence within chemistry education, even though a growing body of evidence suggests that little meaningful learning actually takes place in the laboratory. The traditional, or “cook-book” laboratory approach often bears the brunt of these criticisms, but continues to be one of the most commonly employed methods of teaching in the laboratory. The primary goals of the symposium were to address the following three questions: (1) what are our objectives in the teaching laboratory; (2) why are we doing something different than what was in place before, and perhaps most importantly, (3) how do we know that what we did was effective in achieving our goals?

Jacob Schroeder of Clemson University began the symposium by providing a brief historical account of the state of laboratory instruction in America in the early 1900’s. A key point of emphasis was how quickly chemical educators at the time abandoned their spirited defense of the laboratory as a teaching environment for the masses. Many began openly advocating for lecture-demonstrations to replace the laboratory. From 1918 – 1930, some 30 research articles were published covering this debate, of which, only three provided any evidence that students taking a physical teaching laboratory learned any more than students who watched faculty members demonstrate experiments to them. Since then, and perhaps even earlier, a constant and often chaotic debate has existed within the chemical education community regarding not only the laboratory’s effectiveness in meeting its stated goals, but also its justification for existing in the first place. Reliable and tangible evidence supporting new methods of laboratory instruction were scarce, and a lack of unanimity existed among chemical educators regarding the goals of the laboratory as a learning environment.

Daniel Domin of Dominican University addressed the first question by discussing the importance of faculty developing objectives for a proposed laboratory experiment before redesigning the experiment. Only when these objectives are developed and articulated can faculty truly assess whether meaningful learning took place. Traditional laboratory instruction design focuses on the contents and activities, often lacking consistency between objectives and learning outcomes and assessment. This lack of correspondence between assessment and design is not necessarily embedded in the laboratory itself. The model presented suggests the use of “integrated course design” and “backward design” to create laboratory experiences, a learning-goals driven approach and to structure the lab so that the assessment is embedded in the experience. Unlike the traditional approach, activities are not central to the experience but chosen to support the learning goals. Curriculum designed with the purpose of meaningful learning requires a bottom-up perspective: priority given to the instructor’s goals. Daniel proposes use of Fink’s dimensions of learning to establish learning goals and stresses the relevance of appropriately designing the assessment component of the curriculum. The proposed backwards design model (Goal-outcome-assessment-activity) applies regardless of the teaching or instructional approach (cookbook, demo, inquiry, etc.) as long as the skills desired are clearly stated beforehand, and a plan is in place to gather evidence that the goals are met or the skills are accomplished.

Joi Walker of Tallahassee Community College discussed the development of a laboratory course for General Chemistry that incorporated Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI). This method allowed students to generate data, to carry out investigations, use data to answer research questions, write, and be more effective as they worked. The steps of this cooperative, inquiry model are assumed to offer a more genuine science laboratory experience, leading up to a final project where students present their work in the form of a peer-reviewed paper. Over the course of three semesters, student groups were compared based on the laboratory format they were enrolled in (ADI or traditional). Sources of data were a Chemistry Concept Inventory (CCI), the Balloon Race Performance Task, the Ice Block Performance Task and an Attitude Survey. No differences were observed between the two groups on the post-test CCI, but students in the ADI group wrote more detailed arguments based on the performance tasks. Collectively, the results indicated that ADI had a positive impact on student learning, course grades, and enrollment, and the increased efficiency and social dimension appeared to lead to improved attitudes and increased enrollment for female students.

Todd Gatlin of the University of South Florida discussed research involving graduate teaching assistants' (GTAs) experiences in two diverse general chemistry laboratory programs. Evidence was presented to support the finding that facilitating general chemistry laboratoriess may impact GTAs' scientific development through enhanced metacognition use and more sophisticated views of knowledge. Todd also discussed the mechanism by which facilitating general chemistry laboratory environments affects graduate teaching assistants and recommend that GTA training programs incorporate components that focus on GTAs' views of the nature of knowledge and the nature of the laboratory.

Mary Eminike of Iowa State University discussed the results of a qualitative study involving students in a first-year Analytical Chemistry course. The experiments for the laboratory were designed using three different structures: classical, discovery, and instrumental. Primary data collection involved interviewing six students on three occasions throughout the course of the semester. Analysis of the interviews led to a discussion of students’ descriptions of their cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning.

Marina Koether of Kennesaw State University also presented findings in the Analytical Chemistry laboratory. The research centered on a skills-based approach where attention to proper techniques was emphasized. These skills were honed by trial and error, leading many students to perform multiple replications of the same experiment. Students were asked to complete an analysis of an unknown early in the semester, prior to their skills being fully developed. Later on in the semester, students performed another unknown analysis. In the latter experiment, evidence was presented that indicated an increased attentiveness to the laboratory notebook, resulting in a more complete reproduction of how students actually completed their experiment. Several student comments were highlighted that suggested the students’ desire to allow others to complete the experiment using their laboratory notebook as source material. Students also became more aware of laboratory safety and hazardous waste handling.

NMR Spectroscopy in the Undergraduate Curriculum

Organizers: David Soulsby, Department of Chemistry, University of Redlands, 1200 East Colton Ave, P.O. Box 3080, Redlands, CA 92374, (909) 748-8546, Email: david_soulsby@redlands.edu; and Tony S. Wallner, Department of Physical Sciences, Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33161, tel: (305) 899-3433, Email: twallner@mail.barry.edu

NMR is an increasingly important component of undergraduate education. As more programs obtain instruments, they work to provide the students with the highest quality experience and exposure to this modern instrumentation. This symposium is one way for faculty members to exchange ideas about best practices and successes for incorporating NMR into various aspects of the curriculum. This highly attended session elicited a great deal of conversation during the presentations which continued during the scheduled breaks. The session was divided into sessions dealing with NMR in all aspects of the undergraduate curriculum. The talks covered the range of using NMR for first year students through research and incorporating the instrument throughout the curriculum.

The first speaker, Michael Castellani from Marshall University, talked about using NMR as an introductory lab for high performing freshman. These students were recruited from the first semester course through a variety of methods. Once a cohort was identified, a separate lab section using both a 60 MHz and a 500 MHz instrument was created for these students. The course was divided into 25% known compound analysis, 25% unknown compound identification, and 50% for exams. The students performed an array of increasingly complex NMR experiments including DEPT, coupled 13C, NOE, and signal-to-noise measurement in addition to traditional 1H and 13C. The use of 13C as the introduction to NMR was utilized to allow the delay of discussions of coupling and to allow the instructor to show and discuss symmetry more easily. The students enjoyed the preparation the lab provided them for their subsequent organic course, the sense of accomplishment they obtained by determining unknown structures, and the fact that the lab was unique from other labs. But they were challenged by the fast pace of the curriculum.

Allen Schoffstall next discussed the use of guided inquiry experiments using NMR spectroscopy. The lab is a chemistry majors section using a 60 MHz instrument for 1H analysis. The use of inquiry based labs designed by instructor allows for inductive learning by the students as the conclusion is predetermined but unspecified. This provides students with an alternative to the more traditional expository lab where the learning is deductive. The labs use a combination of literature based experiments and modifications of traditional organic lab experiments to illustrate concepts. A lab based on tetraphenylethene allows the students to solve a puzzle of unanticipated products. The spectra are easily interpreted (both the intermediate di-chloro derivative and the final ketone product), the experiments work well but provide a somewhat lower yield. A second lab was discussed on the reduction of enones. Using sodium borohydride for the reduction of 2-cyclohexenone gives mainly the 1,4 addition product. The students are questioned about possible side reactions and challenged to determine the result. This models what scientists truly perform while doing research. The goal is to provide the exposure to students and potentially engage them in undergraduate research from this experience. Finally a Diels-Alder reaction of anthracene queried the students to determine on which ring the addition occurs. The inquiry based labs require a great deal of planning by the instructor but they are highly enjoyed by the students.

Paul Bonvallet presented a paper that presented the idea of using NMR early and often in the organic curriculum in order to form a basis for increased comprehension. Students are required to perform a year-long research project during their senior year. The goal of using NMR early and often is to better prepare the students to be successful and get the highest quality experience during their senior research. The early introduction of NMR allows for its use to illustrate resonance hybrids in the 1H and 13C spectra of dimethyl formamide. Two distinct methyl groups are seen in both spectra. At low temperatures (-80C), diagnostic splitting of iodocyclohexane is observed. The students use the observed splitting for axial and equatorial resonances to calculate equilibrium constants and Gibbs Free energy values. The effects of ring current on chemical shift are well illustrated with the spectrum of annulene. One set of protons are at 9 ppm and another set are at -2.3 ppm. This can be related to the illustration in the textbook for benzene. The acid/base character of the OH group in menthol is shown by shaking the compound with deuterium oxide using chloroform as a solvent. The disappearance of the OH resonance due to exchange with deuterium shows the lability of the proton. The benefits of this early introduction are that it reinforces the central importance of structure. It is new material for most students so it reinforces study skills and develops these skills in students. The shielding/deshielding trends are tied to identification of nucleophiles and electrophiles. NMR allows for prediction of reactivity, reinforces key concepts, reviews past material, and builds groundwork for future material.

After the break, J Thomas Ippoliti talked about overcoming problems incorporating NMR into the undergraduate curriculum. NMR is used in many courses starting with the organic chemistry sequence and continuing in several advanced courses. Students are taught the complete process of NMR analysis beginning with sample preparation, instrument operation, data processing and analysis. With the purchase of a new NMR spectrometer with an auto-sampler, the department has reduced the backup observed in previous labs. The department also obtained some free and purchased NMR software for data analysis to allow students to process and analyze their data. One early experiment requires the students to construct the overlay spectrum of p-methoxy benzaldehyde and p-isopropyl benzaldehyde. This helps introduce the processing software to the group. Another experiment uses NMR to determine the percent hydrogenation of eugenol (partial at 10 bar and total at 20 bar). The students observe the peak at approx 6 ppm decrease and eventually disappear. A plan for next year is to run this experiment at various values of pressure of H2 to follow the % conversion.

The next speaker, Eric Kantorowski, uses NMR for a chemistry majors “extra” organic lab taken after the usual two semester sequence. After performing the usual types of NMR experiments in the two semester sequence (1H,13C, DEPT), the students perform more advanced experiments (COSY, HETCOR) in this third lab course. The basis of the NMR experiments is unknowns. An experiment that uses NMR to analyze experimental data looks at the Grignard dehydration sequence of 1,1 diphenylpropan-1-ol . The NMR and IR of the alcohol product are obtained. The NMR shows overlap of the OH signal. The compound is then shaken with D2O. This allows for the separation of the OH which overlaps. The students then take the difference spectrum and the difference shows the peak for the OH that was masked by the overlap. A kinetic analysis of the alcohol dehydration with trichloroacetic acid in deuterated chloroform followed by NMR exposes the students to a quantitative kinetic analysis that is often lacking in organic labs. The experiment takes about 23 minutes to follow. The NMR spectra allow for the prediction/identification of intermediates which leads to a proposed mechanism for the reaction. A plot of loss of OH, appearance of alkene, and concentration of intermediate allows for reaction order analysis. Interestingly, the data do not match to either first or second order. A variety of parameters were modified and analyzed in this experiment such as rate dependence on trichloroacetic acid concentration, comparison of acid type on rate, and construction of a Hammett plot for the dehydration using trifluoroacetic acid in deuterated chloroform. More kinetic data are still needed to understand the dehydration of 1,1 diphenylpropan-1-ol.

The next talk shifted the focus to the use of NMR coupled with quantum mechanical calculations. James Foresman discussed the link between theory and experiment. This coupling can help predict and understand structure/reactivity relationships and pathways for syntheses. He used four different computational theories ; B3LYP, MP2, O3LYP, TPSSh. MP2 overestimates and B3LYP underestimates results. O3LYP and TPSSh are the best predictors of experimental data and are being used more often now in the class. TPSSh and B3LYP show very good correlation with experimental data for 127 data points. An example was shown using 2-nitroaniline and additivity patterns for comparison. He used hydrogen carbon correlation spectrum (HCCOSW ) to prove which carbon atoms correspond to which signals in the 13C spectrum. In 2,2,4 trimethyl 1-3 pentane diol, two methyls show one signal. It is possible to use gas phase calculations to show which two methyls are equivalent. Finally a proton coupled 13C NMR of 5-methyl-2-nitroaniline was given as an example to link experimental data to Gaussian calculations.

After the final break, the session presenter’s talks focused on use of NMR in advanced coursework and undergraduate research. Thomas Devore discussed the Shenandoah Valley Regional NMR Facility which houses 300, 400, and 600 MHz NMR spectrometers. The students use these instruments beginning in organic and continue to develop their skills in instrumental, physical chemistry, biochemistry, and research. The focus of this talk is on the use in physical chemistry. One experiment uses NMR to determine the enthalpy of vaporization for methanol and t-butanol. A large shift in the OH signal is observed when the spectrum of the neat liquid is compared to the vapor. The large shift is explained by the formation of dimer and trimer (due to hydrogen bonding) structures in the liquid phase. Essentially all monomer exists in the vapor phase. A calculation of the monomer/dimer equilibrium from the NMR data allows for a full set of thermodynamic calculations. By collecting the equilibrium constant values at various temperatures and plotting the data, the students can determine enthalpy and entropy for the process. The results show a strong correlation to the literature values. The students also compared calculated to measured chemical shifts using similar software (Gaussian 03) to the previous presenter.

The use of NMR in undergraduate research experiences was discussed by Patrick Desrochers. The students are exposed to traditional NMR experiments in the organic chemistry sequence. This prepares them for the advanced use needed in research. In this research project examining scorpionate chelates, students use 11BNMR to observe the downfield shift of the signal with each substitution of ligand. This shifting allows the students to follow the progress of the reactions. The reaction is continued until the NMR spectrum shows the correct substitution product. With the use of phosphine ligands, students use NMR to analyze fractions from column chromatography to test for separation efficiency using 31P NMR. Running the phosphine ligands at low temperature allows for the resolution of all three phosphine ligands, including the cis and trans isomers (this is not observable at room temperature). This shows the value of both multi-nuclear and variable temperature NMR in the structural analysis of a research based compound. These compounds also illustrate to students concepts about coupling. The spectra exhibit unique coupling patterns (C-P and C-Rh coupling constants for example) that match literature J-values.

The final presentation, by Thomas Wenzel, discussed the use of NMR throughout the curriculum as well as some information about funding possibilities for instruments. In the organic sequence, the emphasis is on spectral interpretation. Students must run NMR on all products obtained. This gives them multiple experiences with interpretation. In the advanced synthesis lab, students run NMR on every intermediate and final product. During the measurements lab (an integrated lab combining the classical analytical and physical chemistry sequence), the origin of the NMR signal, Boltzmann distribution, coupling and other aspects of NMR theory are presented. An advanced course that combines NMR and MS provides the students with extensive theoretical background and an emphasis on 1D and 2D NMR spectra. The overall pedagogical goal is to increase the complexity of NMR throughout the curriculum. In undergraduate research, NMR is used to follow and monitor the progress of the reactions being run by students. The observed changes in NMR signals illustrate the completion of the reactions. Finally, Tom discussed some options/funding sources for obtaining NMR spectrometers such as NSF MRI and NSF TUES programs. MRI puts a major emphasis on research and includes separate funds for primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI). The use of evidence based research outcomes will improve the proposal such as significant work being done, other grant support of the project and published outcomes. The proposer should also include curricular use of the instrument. TUES is primarily curriculum based but the proposer should also include research uses. The proposal should include sound pedagogy and plans for infusing NMR throughout the curriculum including an interesting suite of experiments/projects.

NSF-catalyzed Innovations in the Undergraduate Curriculum

Organizer: Susan Hixson, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, tel: (703) 292-4623, fax (703) 292-9015, Email: shixson@nsf.gov (Invited only)

This symposium included papers on an overview of NSF-DUE programs that support undergraduate education by E. Chang, H. Sevian, B. Holmes, and S. Hixson; creating pathways for student success by P. A. Brown; the University of Kansas Noyce Phase II Scholarship & Stipend Program by J. A. Heppert, S. B. Case, and M. D. Barker; ChemEd DL, an online resource for chemistry education by J. W. Moore, J. Shorb, G. Bandos, and E. Vitz; a national survey to determine the needs of college chemistry instructors for professional development related to assessment by T. Holme, K. Murphy, and M. Emenike; automated analysis of student writing reveals student thinking: An innovative assessment methodology built on community goals by M. Urban-Lurain, J. E. Merrill, J. C. Libarkin, T. Long, R. Nehm, J. K. Knight, K. Haudek, M. K. Smith, and J. Ridgway; before, during and after class activities in general chemistry by J. I. Gelder, M. R. Abraham, and T. J. Greenbowe; and Central Ideas of Molecular Science (CIMS): A cross-disciplinary approach by D. J. Yaron, C. A. Ashe, M. S. Karabinos, L. M. Bartolo, J. J. Portman, C. Carter, and D. R. Sadoway.

Online Resources for Chemical Education

Organizers: Bob Belford, Department of Chemistry, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, 2801 S. University Ave, Little Rock, AR, 72204, tel: (501) 569-8824, Email: rebelford@ualr.edu; Bob Hanson, Department of Chemistry, St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Ave., Northfield, MI, 55057, tel: (507) 786-3107, Email: hansonr@stolaf.edu; and John Penn, Department of Chemistry, WVU, PO Box 6045, Morgantown WV, 26506, tel: (304) 293-3435 x 6452, Email: jpenn2@wvu.edu.

This symposium had three sessions which were presided by John Penn, Bob Hanson and Linda Lindert. John Penn presided the first session which was devoted to Web 2.0 and semantic web technologies. Bob Hanson (St. Olaf College) introduced advances to Jmol, in particular Jmol 12.0 which has the capability to be used as a model kit -- to add, delete, and move atoms and bonds, and to minimize structures dynamically. He showed how Jmol 12.0 can be integrated into a web page, specifically http://CheMagic.com/web_molecules, that can tap in to the 80 million compounds database at the National Institutes of Health to provide models of just about any common chemical you can name or write the SMILES string for. Henry Rzepa (Imperial College of London) discussed some of the issues that arise from inserting chemistry into mobile space, describing how the content models differ from the traditional desktop/browser model, and how access to information provided via mobile devices may evolve. He emphasized the importance of users having access to information and data, and of not sandboxing it into the closed environment that many mobile apps nowadays represent. In the next talk, "RSC|ChemSpider as an environment for teaching and sharing chemistry", Antony Williams (RSC) presented on how the ChemSpider database, an online database of almost 25 million chemical compounds linked out to over 400 different internet resources, can be used by the community. On this site chemists can deposit, share, source and use the data as the basis of lesson plans, games and developing deeper understanding in chemistry. He talked about how the resource can become the basis of training students in spectroscopy, online data validation and the provision of supporting information for their own experiments.

Bob Belford (UALR) then presented on the WikiHyperGlossary, a social semantic information literacy tool which automates the mark-up of digital documents and web pages and connects them to online resources through a glossary database. He discussed some of the issues "free agent learners' confront and how coupling social glossaries to canonical glossaries could provide sufficient user-appropriate content to enhance learning through a targeted expansion of a user’s zone of proximal development. Martin Walker (SUNY-Potsdam) then presented on "Wiki resources for chemical education” where he outlined some recent developments in chemistry content on Wikipedia, and gave a preview of the new chemical education wiki under development by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Peter Murray-Rust's (Cambridge University) "Open semantic resources for chemical education" presented a variety of data and tools which can directly provide Open teaching and learning objects (TLOs). These included; Chem4Word - an Open add-in for Word which integrates chemical drawing and display with document creation and editing, which is also a platform for accessing webservices such as OSCAR, OPSIN, Crystaleye and Pubchem. Crystaleye (http://wwmm.ch.cam.ac.uk/crystaleye), an Open data repository of ca 250,000 crystal structures. This can be searched and a typical example is for bond lengths in different compounds (such as what makes an As-Cl bond long or short) and OPSIN (http://opsin.ch.cam.ac.uk), a service to translate formal chemical names into structures. Phillip Janowicz ended the first session with his talk "Megastudent classroom: Teaching one million students at once".

Bob Hanson presided the second session which started out with Rabin Lai (Academy Savant) presenting on the HPLC Troubleshooting Expert system: An e-Learning program designed to teach the methodology of trouble shooting HPLC problems and then provide an expert system for diagnosing problems and offering solutions. The next two presentations dealt with gaming. Tandy Grubbs (Stetson) reported on how he is using 'casual gaming' to engage students in introductory chemistry. He transformed the popular Mahjong Solitaire to "Mahjong Chem", a free online program http://majnongchem.org that is also available as a free iPhone/iPad/iPod app. David Yaron (Carnegie Mellon) presented on a "Chemical Recon", a two-player virtual laboratory based game where introductory chemistry students create an unknown solution and then try to determine the identity of their opponent’s solution.

Lisa Lindert (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) discussed the Centra system for Stanford's Education Program for Gifted Youth - Online High School (EPGY-OHS) Honors and AP Chemistry Program. Barbara Reisner (James Madison), Joanne Stewart (Hope College) and Burke Scott Williams (Claremont Colleges) gave a group presentation on the IONiC (Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists) collaborative learning community and the VIPEr (Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource), https://www.ionicviper.org/. Arlene Russell (UCLA) gave the final session presentation on Calibrated Peer Review (CPR), which described the evolution of the CPR program and demonstrated the latest features of CPR4. This includes a citation index which allows for repurposing of existing work through the development of derivative works by other authors while maintaining documentation of original authors work.

Lisa Lindert presided the third session which started out with a presentation by John Penn (WVU) on the WE_LEARN (Web-based Enhanced Learning Evaluation and Resource Network) program for Organic Chemistry. In addition to describing the We_Learn system, data was presented where students were given multiple choices of exam dates and a correlation was drawn that the more students delayed taking an exam the lower their grade. Mark Bishop (Monterey Peninsula College) then discussed his self-published internet textbook and issues associated with an "options overloads" resulting from so much online multi-media ancillary content being available. Robley Light (FSU) then presented on a new "Microcontent Publishing" model for publishing digital content in which the content author is reimbursed by the publisher with royalty payments based on each individual student interaction.

Susan Young (Hartwick College) presented on the OWL Book which integrates functionality of the OWL homework system into the class textbook by creating an interactive electronic workbook. David Collard then presented on the Chemistry Collaboration, Workshops and Communities of Scholars (cCWCS), an online faculty collaboration project which evolved out of the CWCS (Center for Workshops in Chemical Sciences). John Moore (UW-Madison) gave the final presentation of the symposium on ChemEd DL, the Chemical Education Digital Library, part of the National STEM Distributed Learning Program. This presentation covered the basic resources of the ChemEd DL Portal along with demonstrations of the functionality of some specific resources like Periodic Table Live! and Models 360. The later provided enhanced Jmols with features like symmetry visualizations and allowed you to activate vibrational modes by clicking on a molecules IR spectra.

Peer-Reviewed Chemical Education Research

Organizers: Vickie M. Williamson, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, M.S. 3255, College Station, TX, 77843-3255, tel: (979) 845-4634, Email: williamson@tamu.edu; Sam Pazicni, Department of Chemistry, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, tel: (603) 862-2529, Email: sam.pazicni@unh.edu, and Diane Bunce, Chemistry Department, The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20064, tel: (202) 319-5390, Email: bunce@cua.edu, (Invited only)

This symposium, sponsored by the Chemical Education Research Committee, featured in-depth presentations of completed chemical education research. Participants submitted a 1000-word abstract for a completed Chemical Education Research project. The abstract included: the study's theoretical basis or rationale, the research questions posed, a brief overview of methodology and data analysis, and summary of findings. The abstract was evaluated by three reviewers, with the hopes that the returned reviews would benefit all projects. Of the 11 chemical education research submissions, the top five were invited to participate in this symposium.

Megan L Grunert (Iowa State University) addressed the cause of under-representation of female faculty in Chemistry departments at academic research institutions in a qualitative study. She investigated how women in chemistry make career decisions in order to develop a theoretical model to describe women's decision-making choices. The study included interviews from 10 female faculty members and 10 female graduate students in chemistry. The findings include a difference between what faculty report about their careers and what graduate students perceive of these careers. Further results indicated the apathy of female graduate students towards academic research, which led them to avoid careers heavily engaged in academic research.

Alan L Kriste (University of Michigan) discussed a survey given to 1400 beginning organic students entitled “Use and Usefulness”, which evaluated students' perceptions of 12 major resources available to them (for example: podcasts, study groups, reading the textbook, informal study groups, recitation, TA office hours, discussion with a TA, faculty, going to lecture, doing problems). The survey asked whether students were using the resource and whether the resource was perceived as useful. The three that were most used were going to lecture, reading the book, and doing problems. The study found that students in inclining performance used more resources, while those whose performance declined used fewer resources. This survey has also been employed in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics lecture courses.

Erik M. Epp and Kallie Doeden (St. Olaf College) investigated what aspects of green chemistry students recalled after a chemistry course where the curriculum involved green views and where traditional laboratories were replaced by green alternatives. Six students who were involved in undergraduate summer research were selected for interviews. These students had all had general chemistry; five had also completed organic chemistry, while only two had also completed analytical chemistry. Results showed a progression across courses in that the more courses a student had, the more green chemistry they noticed in previous and current courses. Methods for improving students' retention and ability to recognize and recall green chemistry were discussed.

Cianán B. Russell (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Gabriela Weaver (Purdue University) discussed the evaluation of a research-based laboratory curriculum. The Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education (CASPiE) is a laboratory curriculum for general and organic chemistry; and was evaluated by surveying and interviewing students, peer leaders, teaching assistants, and teachers at 15 institutions. The best implementation practices for CASPiE included the method of student assignment to the course, access to advanced instrumentation, the course assignments, group size, and implementation of peer-led team learning.

Michael Dianovsky (University of Illinois at Chicago) describes how the use of journaling in a general education chemistry course for elementary education majors related to course outcomes, student metacognition, and student reflection. The journals were found to contain reflections on actions, prior knowledge, project ideas, text resources, classroom events, and monitoring of knowledge. An analysis found that content knowledge as measured by course grade had a positive correlation with the frequency of reflections on classroom events and monitoring knowledge, but a negative correlation with frequency of reflections on textbook resources.

The session concluded with a panel discussion where speakers addressed questions regarding their projects and questions regarding the process that resulted in invitations to submit to this symposium. This inaugural symposium was well received by the audience. The Chemical Education Research Committee will host a similar symposium at the 2012 BCCE.

Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)

Organizer: Richard Moog, Department of Chemistry, Franklin & Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604-3003, tel: (717) 291-3804, Email: rick.moog@fandm.edu

This morning session of this symposium included papers on an introduction to POGIL and the POGIL Project by R. S. Moog; POGIL in a general chemistry for engineering majors course: Successes on several fronts by J. R. Pribyl; analysis of student satisfaction and achievement of learning objectives with traditional vs environmentally-relevant POGIL exercises by H. Drossman and M. Titcombe; designing for discourse by R. S. Cole, N. Freeman; revisiting POGIL methodology in the teaching of quantum mechanics by A. Grushow, T. D. Shepherd; and a pchem odyssey by M. D. Perry.

The afternoon session included papers on student-centered learning in the laboratory by F. J. Creegan; interactive guided-inquiry for organic chemistry laboratory recitations by H. G. Schepmann; moving guided inquiry into the general chemistry laboratory using a green theme by W. E. Lynch, D. Nivens, L. Padgett, C. Padgett, T. Hizer, C. MacGowan, J. Smith, and E. Werner; student-centered learning in the laboratory using the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach by T. G. Gupta, K. A. Burke, B. F. Fetterly, D. D. Del Carlo, and T. J. Greenbowe; the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach and its impact on teachers by D. D. Del Carlo, B. F. Fetterly, T. G. Gupta, K. A. Burke, and T. J. Greenbowe; stimulating student interest in using guided-inquiry in the laboratory to learn chemistry by B. F. Fetterly, D. D. Del Carlo, K. A. Burke, T. G. Gupta, and T. J. Greenbowe; and relating the Science Writing Heuristic to scientific research by S. J. Gravelle, M. Fisher.

Research in Chemical Education

Organizers: Organizers: Barbara Gonzalez, Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834, tel: (657) 278-3870, Email: bgonzalez@fullerton.edu; and Kereen Monteyne,  Department of Chemistry, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY, tel: (859) 572-5408, Email: monteynek1@nku.edu

The symposium “Research in Chemical Education,” was held as part of the Division of Chemical Education program at the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Anaheim CA. This symposium provided a forum for the exploration of research conducted on the teaching and learning of chemistry. Papers addressed the four critical aspects of chemical education research: motivation for the research, methodology, findings, and significance of the results and their potential ramifications for education practice and future research. The symposium consisted of both a morning and afternoon section.

Erin O'Connell (co-author Kristen Murphy) started the symposium by describing her project on using an eye−tracker to validate measures made with new assessment techniques. Rapid knowledge assessment (RKA) uses a rapid−measurement scheme to determine the degree to which performance on a task and reported mental effort may be used to help determine an individual's problem solving efficiency. An eye tracker was used to relate objective measures of mental effort through eye movement and pupil diameter to students’ self-reported mental effort. Task Evoked Pupillary Response (TEPR) increased when the problem was loaded onto the computer screen. It was found the perceived mental effort decreased as student performance on the items increased.

Hui Tang (co-author Norbert J. Pienta) also employed an eye-tracking device to study chemistry problem solving in a separate study that took place at Iowa State University. He combined a tablet computer with an eye-tracking device to capture students’ efforts to solve gas law problems. His research explored how and why complexity factors such as number format and variable units influenced students’ ability to correctly solve chemistry problems. The eye tracking approach used in this study can provide more rich information on learner attention and cognitive processing as compared to traditional assessment methods such as exam scores and times. The unsuccessful problem solvers were found to spend more time on the planning and execution steps, but the same amount of time on reading the information provided in the problem variables.

John Pollard described the modalities of spatial thinking in chemistry in a study of the pathways students use to visualize the rotations of objects. Recent work in neuropsychology and neuroimaging suggests that males and females may inherently utilize different problem solving pathways, which challenges the notion that a visuospatial assessment such as the Purdue Visualizations of Rotations Test (PROT) can force all participants to choose a holistic over an algorithmic pathway. Pollard’s study involved eye−tracking experiments to explore the visuospatial pathway heuristic that students utilize. Males who reported using a holistic approach were faster in solving spatial tasks and females who reported using an algorithmic approach were faster using in solving spatial tasks. Findings from Pollard’s study support the emerging idea that in general, there is an inherent tendency to select different problem solving pathways by gender and that the pathway of preference does not necessarily correlate with success in the spatial task.

Barbara L. Gonzalez (co-authors Matthew Radcliff, Elizabeth Dorland, Robin Heyden) investigated interactivity, dimensionality, and assessment in an online animation prototype for visualizing molecular geometry and polarity. The subjects of the study were general chemistry students and summer research experience students at a public comprehensive university. After formal instruction, students correctly selected the molecular geometry from a Lewis diagram cue and correctly drew bonds in three simple molecules, but their explanations indicated a shallow understanding of molecular geometry in three−dimensional space. Students were not able to relate the symmetry of an electron distribution to the polarity of a bond or a molecule in written explanations. There was an increase in the frequency of three molecular geometry misconceptions; symmetry as solely a two-dimensional phenomenon, confusing the polarity of individual bonds with the polarity of a molecule, and incorrect application of VSEPR theory in the instance of lone pairs with regard to polarity of a molecule.

Cianán B. Russell (co-authors Erica L. Borgers, Sindhuja Padmanabhan, Jingya Ying, David M. Collard) then described the impact of faculty development workshops on the students of faculty attendees. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Center for Workshops in the Chemical Sciences (CWS), a summer faculty development program that hosts eight to twelve workshops a year. The workshop programming at CWS is content-driven, focusing on providing faculty participants with laboratory-based experiences and access to experts in a given chemistry content area. A two-year evaluation of the students of faculty participants from 2009-2010 used classroom observations, student surveys, and faculty and student interviews to construct case studies for each institution that were subsequently subject to cross-case analysis. The results of the study indicated that faculty participation in the workshops had a positive self-reported impact on only three factors: faculty excitement, the curriculum and content of the course and classroom approaches. The impact of faculty participation in professional development workshops on student attitudes was slightly more favorable based upon survey and interview data.

Karen Knaus (co-authors Susan Schelble, Margaret Asirvatham, Kristen Murphy) measured teachers' perceptions of conceptual versus traditional questions on the forty matched-pair items of the 2005 American Chemical Society Exam for general chemistry. The sample size was 3386 students across 15 colleges in the United States. A cognitive complexity rating scheme was used by teachers to rate the complexity of the exam items. While a non−statistically significant difference was found in overall student performance on the conceptual versus traditional content mean scores, a statistically significant difference was found in the teachers' complexity ratings for these different types of items. A linear regression analysis demonstrated that 11% of the variance in performance on the ACS exam was explained by the complexity ratings. The complexity ratings provided by the instructors accounted for 40% of the variance. These findings shed new light on the importance of faculty perceptions as they relate to student performance in first year college chemistry.

Samuel Pazicni (co-authors Victor Benassi, Daniel Pyburn, Elizabeth Reiley) reported on the relationship between reading ability and performance in general chemistry. The subjects of the study were students in two general chemistry courses, a two-semester course and a one-semester advanced chemistry course for engineers. Scores were collected for each student on the Toledo Placement Exam, SAT Reading Comprehension or the Gates-McGintie Reading Test. It was found that reading ability was significantly correlated with general chemistry course performance even when more typical predictive factors such as mathematics ability were controlled in regression analyses. A significant interaction was found for reading comprehension and prior knowledge. The results of this study imply that the correlation between reading comprehension and chemistry course performance is related to knowledge construction ability rather than students’ inability to comprehend text. Preliminary results were presented for an intervention that consisted of multiple quiz attempts that indicated that students with low comprehension scores close the performance gap between those with high comprehension scores.

 Jo L. King described her project on a comparison of the effectiveness of homework and quizzes. The performance of high school students in Pre-AP chemistry were followed over two years in which homework was assigned and graded for the first year and the following year in which homework was suggested but daily quizzes provided the assessment. The scores on two-thirds of the unit tests delivered in each course where significantly different for the course that included the daily quizzes. There was no statistically significant difference in mean scores on the Texas Assessment Test between the groups assessed with homework and daily quizzes.

Carrie A. Cloonan (co-author John S. Hutchinson) investigated the issue of silent students in a large active-learning chemistry classroom. The use of more active learning environments provides students with opportunities to formulate ideas and participate in the scientific process during class. This study investigated the impact of an interactive, participatory environment on those students who did not participate via questions and discussions. Interviews of the silent students revealed that they prefer to be less engaged in the classroom, were less confident in their chemistry knowledge, but do benefit from the discussions lead by more vocal students.

Paul L. Daubenmire (co-author Angelica M. Stacy) described interview studies of student understanding of the dynamic aspect of chemical reactions. Semi−structured interviews were conducted at a large research university with students from different levels of chemistry preparation, freshman to graduate, and on different degree tracks. Studies were conducted in which students drew representations of chemical reactions and interpreted dynamic representations of chemical processes. In general, students at all levels and degree tracks tended to use symbolic representations for chemical reactions. The ability to link dynamic visualizations to other forms of representation of chemical reactions depended on student level of chemistry preparation.

Marcy H Towns (co-authors Nicole Becker, Renee S Cole, Chris Rasmussen, George Sweeney, Megan Wawro) capped the symposium with a project on a Toulmin analysis of student discourse in a discussion-oriented physical chemistry classroom. Video and audio data and student work artifacts were collected over a semester in a junior level physical chemistry course that employed active learning strategies. Transcripts of the video and audio data were used to perform Toulmin analyses for students’ use of evidence, warrants and claims. In whole class situations, the instructor scaffolded models of reasoning which were adopted by students in small group discourse. In these small group discussions, use of rebuttals and counter-claims by students were observed. The results from this study are consistent with science education studies that focus on how communities of learners establish ideas through discourse and inquiry.

The paper by Jeffrey Paradis was withdrawn.

Unleashing Electrochemistry’s Potential: Resistance Is Futile

Organizers: Karole Blythe, Stephen Fosdick, Elizabeth Nettleton, Amy Stafford, Maggie Weber, and David Yancey, Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, tel: (512) 475-7461, Email: klblythe3@gmail.com, sefosdick@gmail.com, enettleton@gmail.com, amyjstafford@gmail.com, mlweber@mail.utexas.edu, and dfyancey@mail.utexas.edu.

This was the symposium hosted by the 2011 Spring Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee, GSSPC, from The University of Texas at Austin. The speakers were recruited by the student committee, and the goal of the event was to connect a broad audience with distinguished researchers who have been pushing the limits of electrochemistry throughout their careers.

Julie Macpherson of the University of Warwick in England opened the symposium by describing her work involving carbon nanotube electrochemistry. Her group grows single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) using catalytic chemical vapor deposition on insulating silicon oxide substrates. This growth method results in interconnected, high purity SWNT networks of low surface coverage (<1%). Ultramicroelectrodes (UMEs) made from SWNT networks display superior characteristics compared to conventional electrodes due to their fast response times, low background currents and access to high mass transfer rates.

Next, William Heineman from the University of Cincinnati discussed the benefits of spectroelectrochemisty techniques to increase the selectivity of sensors. His experiments involve the partitioning of metal ion analytes into Nafion films that cover an indium tin oxide slide allowing for potential control over the sample. He then uses Attenuated Total Internal Reflection Spectroscopy to optically interrogate electrochemically produced species in the film. He demonstrated how electrochemistry can be used to differentiate between overlapping spectra from two molecules being detected optically. He can also pinpoint when a molecule gets reduced based on the spectral information collected. In the future, Heineman hopes to transform this technique so that it can be used in portable sensor devices.

Henry White from the University of Utah concluded the morning session and discussed nanopore-based chemical analysis. Nanopores can be used as nanoparticle counting devices that also have the ability to determine nanoparticle structure in the sub-100 nm range. These nanopores can also be functionalized for other applications such as DNA sensing, where damaged DNA bases cause clear amperometric signals as the DNA strand moves into and out of the nanopore membrane. The ultimate goal in nanopore electrochemistry for DNA is to be able to sequence a DNA strand that is traversing through the nanopore.

When the afternoon session reconvened, Andrew Ewing from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden talked about chemical sensing at the single cell level. By creating a nanoelectrode array that can be placed within hundreds of nanometers of a cell, they could spatially resolve exocytosis events from a single cell. He extended this to sensing in a microfluidic channel where an entire cell is electrochemically lysed and interrogated. He also discussed electrochemical sensing of single vesicle lysing events. His overall goals are to understand the chemistry of single nerve cells and vesicles.

Similarly to Henry White, Charles Martin of the University of Florida, discussed work in nanopore electrochemistry. His group creates conical nanopores and uses them for single-molecule counting studies. These nanopores are etched from polymeric membranes containing ballistic damage tracks by placing the membrane between two electrolyte solutions with an applied potential difference. By using antibodies for selective analysis, fluctuations of the ionic current within the nanopore can be used to monitor the migration of specific protein molecules.

The keynote speaker of the symposium was Allen J. Bard of The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Bard spoke about his group’s work in single-molecule and nanoparticle electrochemistry. Specifically, they use ultramicroelectrodes to detect the collisions of single catalytic nanoparticles with the electrode. These studies are groundbreaking because they allow for stochastic measurements, and information can be gained at the single-particle level. To date, the group has used this method to study the collision frequency and size of the particles. Information may also be gained about the nature of individual charge transfer events at the electrode surface.

This symposium successfully exposed its attendees to the breadth and power of electrochemical research. Our speakers spoke about biochemical applications, sensing techniques, and fundamental studies. The audience engaged in lively discussion after each talk, and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. We are extremely happy with the results of our planning and appreciate the opportunity from CHED to have served as the 2011 Spring GSSPC. The spring 2012 committee is based out of the California Institute of Technology. Their topic for the San Diego meeting is, “Chemical Biology: When two heads are better than one.” They look forward to seeing you at their symposium and will appreciate your help and support over the coming year. If you have questions or would

Using Visualizations and Representations to Teach and Learn Chemistry

Organizers: Mary B. Nahkleh and Jessica Weller, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, tel: (765) 494-5314, Email: mnakhleh@purdue.edu and wellerj@purdue.edu  

The symposium “Using Visualizations and Representations to Teach and Learn Chemistry,” was held as part of the Division of Chemical Education program at the 241st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Anaheim CA. The symposium provided an opportunity for researchers in the area of visualization (broadly defined) to report their research findings and to further define and extend this area of chemical education research. The symposium consisted of both a morning and afternoon section.

Jessica Weller (co-author Mary Nakhleh) started the symposium by describing her project on undergraduates’ external representations (drawings) of their internal representations of matter. Fourteen undergraduates enrolled in general chemistry courses were interviewed about their drawings of matter in the solid, liquid and gas phases. Students spontaneously drew four different types of representations, which enabled the researchers to develop rubrics for these different classifications of student representations. These data were compared to data previously collected from elementary, middle and high school students.

Mike Stieff (co-authors Ghislain Deslongchamps & Mary Hegarty) then discussed representational competence in multi-representational molecular animations in organic chemistry undergraduates. These students were allowed to use multi-representational molecular mechanics Flash animation in a problem-solving interview. Data were analyzed using both protocol analysis and eye fixation. The researchers report that students seemed to rely mainly on two visual-spatial representations in the display and did not utilize the accompanying mathematical representations. Further, the verbal protocols and eye movement data were highly correlated, suggesting that these two functions reflect similar cognitive processes.

Nahyr Rovira-Figueroa (co-author Mary Nakhleh) continued the emphasis on molecular level understanding by reporting on her study of undergraduates’ representations of chemical equilibrium in the context of laboratory learning. However, she expanded the discussion to include Alex Johnstone’s triangle model of the three levels of chemistry: the macroscopic, the molecular & and the symbolic. Student-constructed concepts maps were used in conjunction with semi-structured student interviews as a way to provide a 2D-representation of students’ content knowledge and representational levels. She created a concept map scoring rubric to (1) qualitatively describe the concept map configuration, (2) quantitatively analyze the accuracy of the map links and (3) classify the links according to Johnstone’s three representational levels.

Kimberly Linenberger (co-author Stacey Lowery Bretz) expanded the conversation into the area of biochemistry. She investigated undergraduate students’ understanding of enzyme-substrate interactions using textbook representations of both the lock and key and induced fit models. She reported that an understanding gap may exist between students and professors because professors strongly favor the induced fit model but students have previously learned the lock and key model. She developed the Enzyme-Substrate Interactions Concept Inventory from her research findings.

Cynthia J. Luxford (co-author Stacey Lowery Bretz) investigated high school, undergraduate and graduates students’ understanding of ionic and covalent bonding on the symbolic and particulate levels. She used a five-phase interactive interview to probe these students’ understanding of bonding through the use of multiple representations. Analysis of the data revealed that students were able to identify key features encoded in each type of representation.

Lihua Wang discussed a new method for teaching group theory analysis of the infrared spectra of organometallic compounds using molecular modeling. The main focus of this method is to enhance students’ understanding of the symmetry properties of vibrational modes and the process of group theory analysis of IR spectra by using visual aids provided by computer molecular modeling. Results of sample calculations using semi-empirical and density functional theory methods were presented, and a limited amount of feedback from students was also presented.

Kereen Monteyne (co-author Erin Rowan) used questions embedded in written and online assessments to investigate how undergraduate students were able to interpret and link particulate representations to their corresponding symbolic forms. The questions were drawn from the published literature or developed by the research team. The finding of this study provide a measurement of the extent to which different populations of students can interpret and link particulate representations to their corresponding symbolic forms.

Scott Hinze (co-authors Vickie M. Williamson, Kenneth C. Williamson, Mary Shultz, David Rapp & Ghislain Deslongchamps) reported on a study that investigated whether individual differences among beginning organic students might influence the effectiveness of visualizations. They were particularly interested in ball-and-stick vs. potential plot representations in the context of alcohols, carboxylic acids and hydroxycarboxlyic acids. The students were given a pre-test to determine prior knowledge; from this pool 30 students were selected based on high or low prior knowledge. These students were tested for reasoning ability, spatial ability and need for cognition. Students also participated in an eye-tracking session that involved using both ball-and-stick and potential plot representations. Eye movement patterns indicated that students relied on the more familiar ball-and-stick representations, especially for the more difficult questions. Students’ choices of representation were also moderated by individual differences in prior knowledge, reasoning abilities and spatial abilities.

Michael J. Sanger (co-author Deborah R. Rosenthal) investigated how using 3-D and 2-D animations in conjunction with real-time redox/electrochemical demonstration might impact students’ abilities to describe the chemical processes that were occurring. The presentation focused on students’ explanations of key concepts and how these explanations might have changed as a result of viewing the demonstration and animations. Also, the researchers used the data to determine how the two animations affected students’ conceptions and if the order of viewing had changed students’ conceptions.

John Pollard (co-author Vincente Talanquer) shifted the focus to using visualization tools and activities as part of a new general chemistry curriculum. They argue that the focus of introductory general chemistry courses should shift from learning chemistry as a body of knowledge to understanding chemistry as a way of thinking. The central goals of the curriculum that was presented were: to promote deeper conceptual understanding of a minimum core of fundamental ideas; to connect core ideas between the course units; to introduce students to modern ways of thinking and problem solving; to involve students in realistic decision making and problem solving activities.

Jennifer T. Ellis used real-world examples to enhance students’ visual and conceptual understanding of dimensional analysis. She provided real world visual examples of units and how to relate these examples to dimensional analysis problem solving.

David S. Katz’s paper was withdrawn.