A general chemistry assignment analyzing environmental contamination for the depue, IL, national superfund site

Sarah A.Saslow Gomez, Danielle Faurie-Wisniewski, Arlen Parsa, Jeff Spitz, Jennifer Amdur Spitz, Nancy Loeb, Franz M Geiger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The classroom exercise outlined here is a self-directed assignment that connects students to the environmental contamination problem surrounding the DePue Superfund site. By connecting chemistry knowledge gained in the classroom with a real-world problem, students are encouraged to personally connect with the problem while simultaneously developing skills in data management and interpretation. Designed for first-year undergraduate, general chemistry students, each of the four primary exercises builds upon the skills developed in those before it. This approach makes it easy to tailor this assignment to the needs of individual classrooms. This assignment was given as the first laboratory course assignment to a pilot group of 178 general chemistry undergraduate students at Northwestern University. Students enrolled in this course had already completed the first of two accelerated general chemistry courses. Over 75% of students scored in the 85% to 100% grade range, illustrating that the majority of students who completed this assignment demonstrated a high level of comprehension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-642
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 14 2015

Keywords

  • Applications of Chemistry
  • Communication/Writing
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Geochemistry
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
  • Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary
  • Internet/Web-Based Learning
  • Laboratory Instruction
  • Public Understanding/Outreach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

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