Session S55a (Monday, 5:15pm, Willaman Gateway)

P327: The instructional organic chemistry laboratory of a small liberal arts college

Donald Estes, Lea Blau (Yeshiva University, USA)

Organic chemistry is an integral part of all pre-health curricula. Students planning careers in health related professions must learn the unique thought process involved in the theory and practice of organic chemistry. Since few of our students intend on becoming chemists, an interdisciplinary approach in the laboratory is taken. Not only are techniques, synthesis, and characterization taught, but spectroscopy and molecular modeling are also introduced. NMR, IR, and UV-Visible spectroscopy are part of many of the experiments in the laboratory curriculum.  Molecular modeling often accompanies a synthesis to explain product formation in terms of stability and structure calculations or as stand alone exercises. Database searches for physical and chemical properties are completed for each experiment. Chromatography experiments, including thin layer, column, and gas-liquid chromatography are used to characterize the products of synthesis. The concept of optical activity is illustrated in a polarimetry activity and the issue of sustainability is demonstrated in a green chemistry experiment. The organic chemistry laboratory is part of a renovated facility and is appreciated and enjoyed by both students and faculty.


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