Session S39a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Thomas 117)

P379: Student knowledge of atomic emission as measured by the Flame Test Concept Inventory

Ana Vasquez Murata, Stacey Lowery Bretz (Miami University, USA)

A concept inventory about the scientific phenomenon of atomic emission was constructed in the context of flame test demonstrations.  The Flame Test Concept Inventory was given to nearly 400 general chemistry students; the results indicated the inventory was difficult for their level of understanding. This familiar context of the flame test works well to diagnose student alternative conceptions after formal instruction, and also serves as a tool to diagnose prior student concepts. A paper and pencil inventory was constructed from qualitative analysis grounded in student interviews.  These students were enrolled in high school, general chemistry, and upper division chemistry classes where the instructors had covered the phenomena of absorption and emission of light to varying degrees. The current version of the Flame Test Concept Inventory and the analysis of results will be provided and discussed.


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