General Papers in Chemical Education

Organizer: Steven A. Fleming, Department of Chemistry, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, Email:

There were three General Paper sessions. In one session, the papers dealt with teaching tools. Amy Heston, Walsh University, presented Creating the first forensic science course and the first forensic chemistry course for Walsh University. This presentation described the approach to teaching an investigative forensics course with minimal use of advanced instrumentation. Sally Hunnicutt, Virginia Commonwealth University, presented Energy! A general education science course. The course on Energy at VCU is taught to approximately 900 students each semester. Clickers are used to help keep the students involved, but attendance for this course is optional. GPA is a better indicator of student success than class attendance or year in school. The class includes freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Steven A. Fleming, Temple University, presented Getting more biochemistry into organic chemistry. He described the software Bio-organic Reaction Animations (BioORA) that his team of biochemists and organic chemists have developed. The software is available at  Deanna Warner, Salem State University, presented Teaching an organic/biochemistry semester course to non-majors in the health-science fields: Putting the biochemistry first! This course is a nursing student course that follows the standard one-semester general chemistry class. The typical GOB material for the OB portion is modified to allow for more time on the biochemistry. A trimmed down version of organic chemistry is presented prior to the biochemistry, which is the focus of the course. Steven M. Graham, St. Johns University, presented Organic chemistry and the “structure-mechanism-reaction” paradigm: Structure knowledge is a powerful predictor of student performance. He demonstrated a number of teaching tools including clickers, writing tablets, and document projectors. He presented a numeric approach to electron pushing. Mohamed Ayoub, University of Wisconsin-Washington County, presented Natural bond orbital model for teaching chemical bonding: Bonding teaching with research. This presentation dealt with the use of accurate molecular orbitals as a teaching tool. The use of this teaching tool was demonstrated for teaching in first-year courses as well as advanced courses. Peter Wepplo, presented Electronegativity and the chemical bond. Peter offered an alternative explanation for bond strengths of metal halides.