Session S19b (Monday, 2pm, Wartik 107)

P237: Students' application of their atomic models to the topics of bonding and periodic trends

Barbara Bull, Melanie Cooper (Clemson University, USA)

With its abstract nature, chemists have to rely on models to aid in the explanation of phenomena they experience. Students are provided with multiple representations from the instructor as well as the text; nevertheless, the most important model is their mental model. Students’ construction of their own understanding of the concept lays the foundation in which they build further ideas. Therefore, this research concentrates on the most fundamental topic of the atom and how students apply their atomic model to further chemistry concepts, in particular bonding and periodic trends. A comparison is included between a traditional chemistry curriculum and Chemistry, Life, the Universe and Everything (CLUE), an experimental curriculum focused on learning progressions.

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