Rebecca Ricciardo, Ted Clark, Patrick Woodward (Ohio State University, USA)
The integration of a solid state research project within a large-enrollment chemistry course is presented. The objective is to find a reasonable balance for students to complete an authentic research project while learning traditional course material. This is part of the Research Experiences to Enhance Learning (REEL) project. The ambitious goals of the REEL project are to transform 1st and 2nd year chemistry courses by embedding research projects as integral components of the course. One research module investigates the design of non-toxic inorganic pigments and careful consideration has been made to complement the current curriculum. This research project highlights topics normally covered in the course including coordination chemistry, electronic transitions, molecular orbital theory for complexes and materials chemistry. Additionally students are given more in-depth content and experience using powder X-ray diffraction and diffuse reflectance analyses. The challenges and successes of the research project (design, implementation and results) will be discussed.