Jason Fuller (Eastern Kentucky University, USA)
A guided inquiry laboratory activity using molecular model kits has been used at EKU to address students’ difficulties with molecular geometries and polarity. In this study, six lab sections used a modified version of this activity whereby the model kits were replaced with three-dimensional images from Models 360, a component of the Chemical Education Digital Library. A similarly sized control group completed the activity using model kits. Treatment and control group equivalency was based upon three criteria: spatial ability (Purdue Visualization of Rotations Test), logical thinking (Group Assessment of Logical Thinking) and chemistry achievement (California Chemistry Diagnostic Test). A post-lab quiz was used to assess differences in group performance. This data is currently being analyzed to determine if replacing molecular model kits with Models 360 effects a significant difference in students’ ability to interpret 2D and 3D molecular representations and to determine polarity. This analysis will be followed by correlating post-lab quiz performance against spatial ability, logical thinking ability, and chemistry achievement.