Session S6 (Sunday, 2pm, Life Sciences 011)

P31: Chemical structure and properties: The development of a new introductory course

Anna McKenna (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, US), Kate Graham (CSB-SJU, USA), Brian Johnson (College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s, ), Edward McIntee (College of Saint Benedict, USA), Alicia Peterson (College of Saint Benedict | St. John’s University, USA), Chris Schaller (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, USA)

Over the last three years, we have offered a new, one-semester introductory course for all students that is now the prerequisite for all Foundation level courses at CSB/SJU. “Chemical Structure and Properties” is an introduction to structural and bonding motifs throughout chemistry, with an examination of the resultant properties of inorganic, organic and biological materials. The outline, recurrent themes and mechanics of the course are unique to our curriculum.    We believe that this cohesive narrative will be attractive to a wide array of students and will prepare them for more sophisticated explorations of chemical reactivity and mathematical modeling.   This course is mostly non-quantitative and it requires students to become proficient at conceptual and 3D visualization skills different from those introduced in most high school chemistry courses.  Because students might have very little background in these topics, we have introduced pedagogical techniques to help students prepare for class.  An overview of the course and several pedagogical techniques (such as pre-class assignments, on-line homework and group activities) and preliminary assessment data will be presented.


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