Brahmadeo Dewprashad (Borough of Manhattan Community College, USA)
Community colleges play a very important role in educating and diversifying the STEM workforce. Open admission policies, quality education and job training at comparatively low cost make them particularly attractive to under-prepared, underprivileged and working students. These students bring diversity and rich real-life experiences to the classroom and are not particularly receptive to seemingly abstract concepts taught via PowerPoint presentations that accompany textbooks. Engaging case studies, with characters and applications that students can relate to, can be effectively used to connect with these students and to teach core concepts in chemistry. I will describe some of my experiences developing and using case studies to connect with urban community college students and to teach core concepts in Organic Chemistry and General Organic and Biological Chemistry (GOB). Cases that will be described pertain to the toxicity of acetaminophen; the chemistry of commonly used pain killers, curcumin, and cocaine; and a clinical case pertaining to methemoglobenia.