Session S24b (Monday, 2pm, Thomas 201)

P287: Chemistry of sustainability: Hands-on workshops for high school students

Katherine Aubrecht, Linda Padwa, Keith Sheppard (Stony Brook University, USA)

We have developed and piloted a series of laboratory experiences for high school students at Stony Brook University that link fundamental concepts in chemistry to issues of energy production, benign synthetic methods, and environmental degradation. In these five to six-hour activities, students complete a laboratory exercise and discuss both the underlying chemistry and its implications for sustainability. As a result of population growth, increasing per capita consumption of resources, and continued reliance on fossil fuels, we face unprecedented challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.  While analyzing the scope of these challenges and developing solutions to them are clearly interdisciplinary endeavors, chemistry will play a central role. From a high school student’s perspective, the connections between content in a typical chemistry course and sustainability may not be apparent. Our laboratory experiences and associated discussions help to make important connections.

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