Session S37a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Mueller 008)

P366: Preparing the chemistry senior for the chemists’ world - library research, method development, sample preparation, instrumentation, data analysis, and presentation

Dharshi Bopegedera (The Evergreen State College, USA)

Often, chemistry undergraduates are given laboratory experiments that are guaranteed to succeed. Most students are not exposed to the “non-chemical tasks” a chemist must execute (library research, method development, presentation, and publication) to solve a problem from the ground up.  An experiment on “the determination of the iron content in limonite” was designed to provide senior chemistry students an opportunity to learn how a chemist would solve this problem. First, students searched the primary literature for a pertinent method that could be executed in the laboratory. This method was then modified over several iterations until a viable process evolved. Students then executed their method in the laboratory to obtain desired results. Each student wrote a formal paper in the format appropriate for publication.  I will discuss the challenges and successes of this lab from a pedagogical perspective and share students’ findings.

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