David Henderson (Trinity College, USA), Susan Henderson (Quinnipiac University, USA)
Chemistry at Karlsruhe applies the highly successful Reacting to the Past (RTTP) role-playing game pedagogy to the early phases of the Atoms First approach to give students a clear understanding of the way in which chemistry is based on empirical evidence and the process of developing our current understanding. The game is set at the 1860 Karlsruhe Conference of Chemistry and students play roles as the famous scientists who participated. Students are given empirical data from experiments available at the time. They calculate results and argue the positions of the Empiricists and the Organic Realists on the nature of atoms and the correct atomic weights of carbon and oxygen based on empirical evidence. The background of the RTTP pedagogy, the integration of this game into a lab driven approach to teaching Atoms First, and the assessment results for students who have played this game will be presented.