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.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer