Zachary Dunn, Trilisa Perrine (Ohio Northern University, USA)
A general chemistry laboratory at Ohio Northern University that focused on VSEPR theory and hybrid orbitals, while centering on the use of molecular models, was redesigned. The former iteration of the lab procedure, while well-intentioned led to times, when students were waiting around for the instructor, and an overall inefficient use of the time in lab. Also, many students found the lab difficult to follow, and claimed not to learn much from completing it. This lab was redesigned in an attempt to remedy some of these issues, especially the inefficient use of time and the lack of learning on the part of the students. The redesigned lab, which involved Styrofoam models of two types and Chem3D models, has been implemented in the General Chemistry laboratory. This lab activity focuses on VSEPR and hybridization while addressing the varied needs of diverse learners. Data was collected from surveys and worksheets completed by students who performed either the previous or revised procedure. This data shows that not only has the new procedure increased student competence with the material, but it has also increased student confidence in their abilities.